Saturday, September 7, 2013
Consumed with Guilt
http://www.Homesbythecase.blogspot.com For anyone "just tuning in" this post may leave you wondering what the heck I am rambling about, I hope you take the time to go back and review my earlier posts so you can catch up with our story. For anyone who has been along for the whole wild ride! Thank you! I very much appreciate your thoughts and comments!
CONSUMED WITH GUILT
I was feeling bad for being gone so much, especially so close to my daughter’s wedding. After 13 months of planning, there were only twelve days left until the big day; I would be gone six of those days. If I wasn't so excited about the party, I would have been consumed with guilt.
It wasn't everyday that I received an invitation to such a grand affair; I couldn't believe I had gotten so lucky! I could only imagine the guest list. Everybody who was anybody would be there. I would meet new people whom I had only seen pictures of; this was so exciting! I knew it was time to reel in my imagination when I conjured up a visual of the paparazzi clamoring for exclusive photos of the guest of honor. Maybe I had embellished just a little.
The truth was it wasn't luck, so much as circumstance, that allowed me to attend this party. Moms’ medical appointments had brought me to town; the timing was coincidence.
The “new people” I referred to were babies who had recently made their debut; I had only seen pictures from birth announcements. The guest of honor would, most likely, not know or care if I was present; two year olds are like that. Although my grandsons second birthday would be a grand affair, I was pretty sure the only person who might be confused with the paparazzi was me. When it came to my grandson, every moment was a “Kodak” moment; every moment had the potential to create a memory.
Five days (and six doctor appointments) later, as I was packing the car for our trip back home, the only memories I could recall were not pleasant ones. It might have been easier to erase moms’ total look of devastation if she wasn't still wearing it.
The color had drained from moms' face when the doctor told her she had to wear the brace for a full twelve weeks; 24 hours later she still looked pallid.
“I guess I won’t be dancing at the wedding”, mom looked defeated. I reminded her that just being able to go to the wedding was one of her goals. We drove in silence for a good deal of the five hour ride home; mom was temporarily distracted with her bucket list; I was just distracted.
I was having trouble prioritizing the many things I had to accomplish in the next week. In one week I was to host a rehearsal dinner; in 8 days my daughter would walk down the aisle. I certainly had enough going on to be a little preoccupied.
Preoccupation is the only reason I can think of that would have made me miss so many signs over the next few days; it's the only excuse I have.
“I don’t have anything to wear”, mom complained. I assured her we could go shopping if we didn't find something fitting in her over stuffed closet. I was beginning to think she didn't want to go. I should have known better; mom was not a complainer.
“I hope I feel good enough to go”, mom seemed to be gearing up to NOT go. I told her I hoped so too. I couldn't believe she would be so vain as to miss my daughters’ wedding just because she still had the brace. I emailed the surgeon, I wanted to know if mom could go without the brace for one afternoon; I assured her mom would not be walking around. I should have listened closer; mom wouldn't miss that wedding for a headache.
“I don’t know if I can tolerate the whole evening” mom said quietly. I was sure she was right, that would be too long. I promised mom that someone would bring her home whenever she was ready; I already had a plan in place. I should have noticed.
With a week to go before the wedding, I had planned for every eventuality; at least I thought I had.
If I had been paying closer attention, I might have planned better. I should have noticed moms lack of appetite; the dark circles under her eyes; the number of anti-nausea pills she had required; her decreased level of activity, or the tone in her voice.
I had to quit praying for “signs” if I wasn't going to read them anyway.
Early Monday morning, the 22nd of April, 2013, I made all the necessary calls to family members as I followed the ambulance to the hospital; I hadn't planned on that. Five days before the wedding, things were going from bad to worse.
I held my breath as I watched the ambulance sail in to the intersection. Where were they going? Why hadn't they turned? This couldn't be happening!
After reflecting on my brief conversation with the paramedics, I knew where they were going and why they hadn't turned.
They were going where all ambulances in our area, without instructions to the contrary, seem to go; The Regional Trauma Center. I had forgotten to give them the contrary instructions.
They always asked which hospital; why hadn't they asked? Maybe they were part of the conspiracy! How could I stop them?!
If I didn't miss the light, I could turn left and come around from the other side. I imagined myself as a super hero as I visualized my plan; I wondered if anyone had ever attempted such a daring rescue. If I got lucky, they would catch traffic and I could beat them to the ambulance bay; I could keep them from taking mom to that awful place.
Who was I kidding?
The only super hero I could conjure up was “Under Dog”. I certainly felt like an underdog.
I was consumed with guilt.
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