My mother took a fall yesterday.
She took a fall about six months ago and got a bad infection in one of her (two) artificial knees. They did surgery and irrigated and cleaned out the infection about ten days ago. Then she fell on that knee yesterday and busted it open. I guess it was pretty gruesome and horrific. She lives in my hometown, two hours from where I now live. I couldn't go because I have been sick.
I've been sick as in wheezing so bad that you can hear me wheeze even when I have my mouth closed. Hacking with a cough that sounds like a bark. Coughing to the point that it is embarrassing. In the beginning I could hardly talk because I couldn't breath through my nose. I was off work last Monday and Tuesday. Now dug is coming down with it and he was off work today.
So yesterday when my family contacted me, I was in pajamas- late in the day. I asked dug when, if ever he had known me not to shower and get dressed. Even when I was off work last week, I showered and dressed. But not yesterday. So my family contacts me when my mother falls and I had this terrible struggle of feelings to rise up within me as if I should run and shower and get in the car and drive the two hours north to be there. To be the strong, steady oldest child that I've always been. But I couldn't.
And the baby is coming and I have a plane ticket to go on March 31st to the east coast to be with them. And I want to run and be there and peer through the glass at him or her and say to the stranger standing beside me "that is my first grandchild." But I can't and I will hold him/her when he/she is a few weeks old. Life doesn't allow me to dash here or there or to be where I want to be when I want to be.
And I am torn between aging parents and children having children and I am learning this is what mid-life is.
My gal pal Jennifer and I were talking on the phone tonight and she asked me how dug and I are doing. I said
"oh, he is o.k. I'm o.k. with him."
Because sometimes I am not o.k. with him. And I said to her "you know, sometimes being with someone is just being with them?" The two of us sit in front of the fire and his head begins to nod and his book begins to fall and I say
"you are falling asleep."
And sometimes your best friend is the orange marmalade cat that stands on the kitchen table and nuzzles your head with his and he has been in your life longer than the man you are living with.
Or the little Corgi glued to your leg who has stolen your heart and is your new best friend.
And you sit with the phone next to you waiting to get the next phone call or text telling you
that she made it through the surgery just fine and the artificial knee wasn't damaged in the fall
or they just broke her water
and the cat is at your feet
and the dog is at your side
and the man has gone to bed
and it is quiet
and the fire burns on.