Monday, September 3, 2012

The Stroke: Part 2

     I sat rigid up on stage, clutching the cold instrument in my hand while the music droned on and on. I didn't want to be in that rehearsal. I kept thinking, mom should be here.... But she wasn't. The entire practice was a constant reminder that something wasn't right. I began to remember...

     The policeman who had called the ambulance asked me if anyone was coming for me and I told him I had called my dad. He spoke to the stranger who wanted to help us earlier and said it was fine for him to leave because 'the father' was on his way and everything was taken care of. Even in a state of shock I remember noting how strange it was that he referred to my dad as 'the father'.
     Waiting for my dad at the intersection, I had glimpsed what seemed to be a familiar white van, crossing the intersection ahead. When the van turned our way and slowed to a stop alongside us, I saw it was our friends, the Fieldses. Mrs. Fields rolled the window down and leaned out. "Are y'all okay?" She looked at the suburban. "Where's your mom?"
     Speechless, I pointed to the EMS truck.
     The policeman came up, interrupting her questions and asked Mrs. Fields to move out of the road. She left to go park in a lot over a nearby hill, saying she would back soon.
     Not long after, my dad came walking over the same hill. He said almost nothing to me, but spoke to the officer and paramedics. He soon climbed into the back of the ambulance to see my mom.
     Everything in me wanted to go to the hospital with my parents, but I knew that wouldn't help. My father knew that too, and so I was sent on, along with my four sisters. We rode with the Fieldses to the Baptist church in which we normally held our concerts.
     I suffered through every moment, fighting tears and wishing I was at the hospital. When rehearsal ended, I was very ready to leave. The Fieldses dropped us off at our house and Mrs. Fields made sure we had everything we needed for dinner and even a few things for breakfast before leaving us.
     Up until then, we had little contact with my father. Maybe a phone call or two, but little information was known. Everyone was continuing to operate under the assumption that she was suffering only from severe vertigo.
      My sister, Jenae (who was then twelve years old), helped me feed the three little ones and put them to bed. We both waited up for a long time, but neither my father nor mother could come home. Finally, at two o'clock in the morning my dad called. Mom was about to have a C.T. scan and they were going to stay at the hospital. We would be alone in the house for the rest of the night.
     Exhausted and burdened by a heavy heart, I collapsed on the couch and fell asleep.

     It was around seven or so the next morning when I heard the sound of my dad's car pulling into the driveway. I rushed to the door in time to greet my parents. My dad was visibly tired, but my mom looked like she could pass out at any moment. The only thing that the doctors said was that it had to be vertigo.
My parents tried to settle down to rest and my mom was about to go to bed. That's when the phone call came.
     A specialist had looked at mom's scans. They had found something serious and wanted her to come back to the hospital as soon as possible.

Post to be continued...

Previous Posts: The Stroke: Part 1
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