Night before last, the phone rang at 3:30 am. In my sleep induced stupor I reached for the phone but in a split second I said to Yvette, "You get it". It was her step-dad. Yvette's mother has been having health problems for the last few years and had passed out while in the bathroom. He had revived her but I guess he didn't know what to do. Yvette told her father to call 911 and she then tried to call her brother, but only his answer machine answered. She then jumped in the car and went to pick up her step-father and they followed the ambulance to the hospital. After many, many tests she was admitted into the hospital for "observation" and is still there. She seems to be doing ok now (I think she just wanted some attention!) and our hopes are that she will be able to come home soon.
The reason that I didn't answer the phone is because I have received that phone call twice in the past six years. The "you need to come here now, she isn't going to make it through the night" call. Nothing scares me more than that late night phone call. I simply cowered out of answering it this time. I fear that's it's about my mom, she will be 78 this summer. I fear it's my other sister, who seems to be having more and more health problems or maybe it's her husband, or even my in-laws. The fear that rockets through me when that phone rings at that time of night brings back such bad memories, that I really can't explain it.
Yvette spend about eleven hours at the hospital yesterday. I remember those times like they were this morning. Sitting there while Debbie was totally out of it, or while Suzie drifted from knowing me to being a complete stranger. Your mind begins to run. Run with the "what ifs" and the "how come's". I would start to wonder what they might be feeling, if they knew I was even there. I would drive to Stanford for Debbie and spend the whole day there, returning home at about 10 PM and all the while, she would never regain consciousness. Did she even know I was there? Was I just doing it for myself? I once asked her if she remembered me being there and she told me no, she didn't remember much of that time, but there were times I would talk to her and she would squeeze my hand ever so slightly. So, I don't know. She died with me holding her hand and telling her I loved her and it was ok to go, she had fought a terrific fight. Suzie was much the same. I kissed her head, told her I loved her, carresed her hair for a while, then she was gone.
I don't know why these things seem to always start at night, but they always seem to. That may be one of the questions that I ask the Big Cowboy in the sky when I get there. I have a few to ask Him.
And as for that late night phone call, well I hope it never comes my way again!