(Tucson, AZ - Wilmington, DE)
The sun was barely up, not hardly light yet but certainly not the darkness of night. I was woken up by a strange sound and realized it was the new ringtone Bob put on his phone. What the heck? Who is calling this early? It was 5:15 a.m..
I listened and heard Bob say, “Ok, Bill.” My heart started racing. I knew this wasn’t going to be good. I heard myself yelling out loud, “No!” “No!” and then I heard Bob walking. He was coming to tell me bad news. It was either my dad, Bill, calling to give bad news about my mom or is was my brother, Bill calling giving news about one of my parents.
I sat on the side of the bed and waited for what seemed an eternity but in reality was only seconds. Bob said, “That was Billy.” I knew then it was my brother. I looked at him, tears streaming down my face and asked, “Which one?” He said, “Its your dad, he’s had a stroke.” Afraid to ask but having to know I asked, “Is he alive?” Bob assured me he was. Oh, thank God. I asked how bad it was and Bob said, “You need to go home Snook, I’ll get online and start looking for a plane ticket and you get packed.”
I needed to talk to my brother. I called and asked him to tell me what happened. It was then I heard the word massive for the first time. Even though I knew what I was going to do I asked Billy if I should come home. I heard him take a breath and answer, “Yeah, you need to get here.” This was bad. This was the phone call I never, ever wanted to get.
I sat there, frozen in time, too numb to think or move. I was jolted when the phone rang again. It was Jim from Florida and he started the phone conversation with, “I might as well just say this up right up front.” I braced myself for what surely was going to be more bad news. He said, “Montana is out, we can’t go, Ar has an aneurysm in her carotid artery.” Oh no, what more can go wrong? I told him what was going on in our lives. After consoling each other and giving a pep talk we agreed to keep in touch and that we could call each other any time of day or night.
I threw clothes in a suitcase and truly didn’t know what I was packing let alone keeping the difference in seasons in mind.
Bob found me a flight into Philly airport leaving Tucson at 1:05 and landing on the east coast at 10 pm their time. This was going to be the longest day of my life.
It was so hard to leave Bob. I hated the idea of making this trip by myself but Bob needed to stay here in Tucson with our 5th wheel. There have been too many instances where the people who move the rigs around the property just park it and don’t plug it in to the power supply. He also has a doctor’s appointment next week that has been scheduled for quite a while and one he has to keep. It was just as hard on him, seeing me off in the state I was in and wanting to be in Delaware with the rest of us for whatever was to come.
As I thought, the flight took forever. We got into Philly a half hour ahead of schedule but got stacked up and had to circle for 20 minutes.
Billy had stayed with my dad in the hospital all night and was exhausted. His daughter, my niece, Ryann came to pick me up. Nothing had changed since I boarded the plane in Tucson. No improvements were forthcoming.
We stopped to get something eat as I hadn’t eaten since the day before.
At eleven I was finally walking into my parent’s home, the house I grew up in. Mom just held me tight and then finally we sat and she told me every detail as to what has happened so far.
I think we have hope. I want to have hope.