Thursday, May 12, 2005

Does Your Mother Smother?

Here’s a story from the parental archive. See if this gives you an idea of what is to come... On March 12, 1993, the Northeast, Mideast, and Southeast, which collectively includes West Virginia, was blanketed by the worst winter storm in at least a century. Some called it the “Superstorm.” Winds gusting up to 110 mph, 10 tornadoes in Florida, 44 inches of snowfall in West Virginia, almost double the average for this area. What I remember most is my dad developing a rather nasty migraine due to a severe reaction to some medication he was taking. My dad has had several surgeries in his lifetime, he’s had glass imbedded in his eye, he’s been paralyzed, but I had never seen him in such pain. The snow had already started and was at least half a foot deep. I told my Mom she needed to call our neighbor, a volunteer fireman, to see if the four-wheel drive ambulance was on a call. She twittered and wrung her hands. I said, “Mom!! We need to do this!” So, she calls and he calls and he calls back and says the ambulance is free, do we want it? Yes! I had to convince her. See, my dad would rather have gnawed his own arm off as to admit that, it might be a good idea, seeing as how we were about to be snowed in for two or three days, to go to the hospital where they have a lot of good drugs. Not only that, but he wasn’t going to drive himself or any of that horseshit. Side note - When he cut the tip of his finger off in a table saw he eventually made my mom pull the car over so he could drive since she was going too slow. Onward and upward. So, our neighbor, Billy, comes over and we start shoveling our driveway as best we can so the ambulance can back up as close to the garage as possible. My dad came out with a toboggan covering his eyes and was helped into the ambulance. My mom was bundled into the front of the ambulance and off they went. They made the 20 mile trip in 2 ½ hours. I was alone with our cat and two dogs. I spent much of my time at my neighbor’s house and shoveling out a place for our dogs to potty. I can’t recall exactly how long it took for the snow to stop and for me to shovel my way out, the state road to clear and salt the road, and my neighbors to pitch in and do what they could to get our car out of the garage. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, it was three to four days. By this time, they had run every test imaginable on my dad and figured out it was the medication, blah, blah, blah but he still needed to stay a few more days. I did have to pick up my mom though. My neighbor Markie, she’s my deaf friend, and I went over together. I go up to my dad’s room and the tension was ... thick? Dense? Compact? Stocky? Amassed? Markie looked at me and I looked at her... oy... My mom sees the little person who sells candy, magazines and stuff go by and they (she?) launch(es) into a complete dissertation about what candy if any candy... what mag if any mag... blah, blah, blah... My mom goes out in the hallway and my dad, who still looks like death warmed over, says, “Inanna,” and gives me the one-fingered-come-here-right-now gesture. I walk closer to the bed and suddenly he grabs a hold of my forearm in a death grip and pulls me down to him. “You take her home. RIGHT. NOW. Or I’m going to KILL her.” “Yes, Daddy.” I stood up and Markie was wide-eyed behind me (damn lip-readers). My mom came scurrying back in and began the hovering and smothering and I began with the pleading and begging and my dad began with the eye-rolling and scowling. Markie just stood back and read lips. What fun. I finally got my mom to leave (my dad in peace) and we went home. My dad would rather be left alone (unless he has a cold. Like all other men he’s a complete wuss when he has a cold.) My mom is a nuturer-hovercraft-smotherer. This is SO NOT going to be fun.
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