Wednesday, June 09, 2010

the call we fear

My mom called me today, on my cell phone.

It wasn't her normal day to call, that's Saturday.

I could tell, something was up.

Her voice was normal at first, but then she got upset. My dad fell. Well, he got dizzy, or something, she wasn't sure, then she heard an almighty crash, and then she found him on the floor having hit his head on the kitchen island. She sounded so scared, so alone. I wanted to reach through the phone and make everything ok. Somehow.

She called the ambulance, and they came. Dad was vomiting and confused (I'm sketchy on details.)

The ambulance took him to the small hospital in the town where they live, but they decided to carry on to Springfield to a bigger hospital.

He's there now.

Using my calm voice and focusing hard on making her feel better, I managed to calm her down, pointing out that his symptoms could just be indicative of a concussion, he did hit his head pretty hard, from what she said. By the end of the call, I got a laugh out of her. Her friends arrived to take her to the hospital to catch up with him.

I hung up, shaking, burst into tears (I was at work but nobody was around) and managed to calm myself down with the help of a very kind coworker.

I hit the internet with a vengeance, found the hospital it was likely he went to, called them, found him and got to talk to him briefly. He sounded slurry and like his tongue was too big for his mouth, but he was his ornery self, so I think that's good.

I called my brother and filled him in.

I went online and booked a ticket home.

I think he'll be ok. I hope he'll be ok. Even so, Mom will need some help with everything, it's a big piece of land with two houses, dogs, gardens, and so on.

Now I feel sort of stunned, stoned, empty, stressed, shaky and tired, all at once.

It's the call all expats and kids away from their parents dread. The call where someone you love is crying. And you are too far away to do anything but worry.

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