Sunday, May 18, 2008

He’s OK Now But …

Yesterday I got one of those phone calls that when you answer it, you at first don’t think anything is wrong.

It was a gorgeous day out, Diva had played an 8 AM soccer game, and she and I were in the garage tossing old shoes, putting stuff in a pile for “Old Will” and the “Hoboes” and then the phone rang.

It was my brother.

“Hey Boomer!” That’s this nickname. His real name is Scott but my Nana used to call him Scotty Scotty Boom Boom Lotty when he was like one, so then he just turned into Boomer.

He must have said something like, “Hey Steph.”

Then nothing. Silence.

I immediately went into fight or flight action, with adrenaline pumping, knowing something was wrong. My brother can sometimes get into a little bit of trouble, like the time he got arrested the night before my other brother got married.

I remember thinking, “Oh God, his wife is leaving him.” Then I thought something was wrong with his two little babies. I was in the garage and there was nowhere to sit, and I knew I needed to sit for this, and Diva knew something was wrong even though I don’t think I was talking yet, but I must have been. I must have been saying, “Boomer, just tell me. It’s OK, just tell me already.”

And he was crying, I know that. My brother was crying and he said, “Hold on a minute, let me collect myself.” And then he must have assured me that everything was OK, that everything was OK now, but then the word Dad came out of his mouth and I had to sit because he was talking about my Daddy, and that something had happened to my Daddy, and my brother is on the other end of the phone in Virginia crying about it and this cannot be good, and I missed a phone call from my Dad last night and he sounded fine, and I’m sure I saved the voice mail because that’s one of my OCD superstitions because that’s what I do with my parent’s voice mails and my husband’s voice mails. I save them. All of them. Until I see them again and know it’s safe to delete them.

So finally, my brother gets it out and this is the story. My Dad (and I feel like I have to capitalize the D in Dad for some reason) was having some pain and went in Friday for a CT scan and they were going to do a routine appendix removal on Saturday morning and that’s why he called Friday night all chipper to tell me but cuz I didn’t answer, he didn’t tell me so I had no idea my Dad was even going in for surgery.

Then when he and my Mom went to the hospital for what they thought was a half-hour deal, then he didn’t come out of surgery and my mom was in the waiting room all by herself and he wasn’t coming out so, and this part kills me too, she’s all by herself wondering what’s happening, and later she tells me it was like a soap opera and when the doctor finally came out she could see him through the doors and she knew that it hadn’t just been a routine appendicitis.

But I think I’m making it sound like it’s worse than it was and I don’t think it is but still, I don’t know. There was a mass that was the size of his fist, but they say it was benign, but who really knows until the tests come back? And he’s in the hospital for six days, and when my brother called me, both of our immediate reactions were, “We have to go there.” And “What about Mom?” Our other brother, thank God, is in Orlando (my parents are in Tampa), and my sister, is in Connecticut, and it just feels so helpless to be here and not there, to worry about your parents, to wake up and think of your father lying in a hospital bed with all that shit hooked up to him when he’s always so lively and jokey and, I mean, if you know my Dad and my Mom, then you just know, they are like the youngest 60-somethings you could ever meet. They act younger than I do.

And my brother told me he spoke to the doctor and the doctor told him that our mother was a wreck, and that killed us more than anything, to know that our Mommy is there and we’re not there to take care of her. That I can do nothing but sit here and run all this shit in my head and not do a damn thing.

And I know this is majorly personal stuff, and maybe too much, but this is how I need to deal with it. This is how I deal with it. I need to write about it to get it out. And I need to cry. A freaking ton. I cried so much yesterday. And I really think he is OK. And he’s going to be OK. Everyone has assured me. My Mom seems OK too. Yesterday I was talking to her on the phone when she was in Dad’s room and she told me he would be sleeping all day and he’s on morphine but he’s OK and she said he just gave the thumbs-up sign and I said, “Put the phone by his ear!” She did, and I said, “I love you Daddy! I love you so much!”

And he said, “Mm mmm mmm mmm” which TOTALLY meant I love you too in morphine speak, which made me laugh and then feel happy. But still, every time I think about any part of this, I cry. Like right now. And this morning when I woke up, I went for a walk at 7:30 and I had my iPod on and I took a bike path past the dog park and it is a gorgeous, gorgeous day, and it was quiet and there are puffy white clouds dotting the blue sky and everything is in bloom and it’s crispy cool, and I let myself just bawl my head off as I walked, and it felt so damn good to just let it out and cry. I just had to. And I cry in front of the kids. Diva says, “Don’t cry mom. Are you gonna cry?" Luke just sits there while I cry. Later I said to Luke, “Does it bother you that I cried so much today?” He said no. I said, “Good, because I’m going to cry, because sometimes I just need to and it makes me feel better to cry, OK?” Because we are a show-your-emotions-talk-about-your-feelings family.

And I think about AJ’s friend Michael and his parents and what they’re going through. I am this much of a basket-case over my Dad, and this is the natural progression of life. How are THEY handling this backwardness of their son being sick? I can’t fathom the strength that is getting them through each day of their struggles.

My youngest brother, Seth, and his wife drove immediately from Orlando to Tampa to be with my Mom and Dad, and Seth slept at the hospital with Daddy. I am so thankful they are there to assure us other kids that everything is OK. I want to call every 10 minutes to check in. On my walk this morning, I thought to myself, I don’t care if Dad comes to my house and blasts CNBC on the TV. I don’t care if he wears his shoes on the carpet. I will buy him as much ham and swiss cheese as he needs. He can leave the TV on and walk out of the room and I won’t bitch about it.

Then I thought about all the times he took care of us when we were little. How he always brags about how we were such good little swimmers. How he would make our fevers go away when we spiked ‘em as little kids. How he coached us to play softball. I’m 39 years old. I’m his Pooker Pie. And I’m so not ready to give that up.

I talked to my Mom this morning. She said she slept good last night. She went home last night while my brother Seth stayed at the hospital. She said that in the middle of the night last night at a moment when my Dad was coherent, he asked my brother, “How’s Mommy?”

That’s the part that tears me up inside. He’s worried about her more than anything in the entire world. Forty-two years of marriage will do that to a man.


House of Jules said...

Sending you lots of good vibes, Steph.
House of Jules

Mary said...

Hope he recovers quickly! Your mom and dad sound so sweet - the perfect marriage! Best wishes to your family!

Stephanie J. Blake said...

Oh my god, I'm welling up here. Hugs Manic. I hope he gets well quickly.

I'm feeling the love. A daughter and her daddy is a different kind of love.

Go to him if you feel you need to. Screw money, screw school stuff, just go.

AutoSysGene said...

Hugs to you and your family!!! It's so hard when our parents are sick and we have no control. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

hugs and prayers steph... Sounds like the dream parents and siblings...We will keep your Daddy's health in our prayers and well as peace of mind for the rest of ya. HUGS laura

My Two Army Brats said...

We'll pray for your family. The long distance life with family sucks sometimes!

It's so nice to hear about a family who all still likes each other so much! It's not too common, you're lucky to have a great family hold on tight to every minute!


justme said...

i am so sorry, that must have been so hard. writing is good and gets it out, cry all you want !!! sounds like you got a wonderful family foundation and everything will be ok. hang in there.

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

Get. On. A. Plane.

Go. Are you still reading this? Call American Airlines. And go.

Let your hubby handle the kids and the prep for Thursday. Go Monday, come home Wednesday. That's who are, Manic Mommy my friend.


Jill said...

Your emotion, your honesty, your beauty all comes out here.

I too cried reading this.

I wish you only good thoughts. Daddies are the best - this made me really miss mine.

Kate said...

Manic, It's all right to cry. Your dad and you and your entire family are in my prayers. I am sending many hugs.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Thank you everyone. I got to talk to my dad on the phone a little bit. He sounded really groggy but I was glad to talk to him.

Kim--I immediately looked at airfare and all of our first reactions were to go to him, but my other brother and his wife are there and taking good care. The airfare over this Memorial Day weekend is through the roof.

On another note, ironically, MY parents were supposed to fly HERE this coming Wed to watch our kids so Mr. Manic and I could go away to celebrate our 15 year anniversary for 3 nights. WE DON'T EVEN CARE! I just want my Dad well!

And Katie-Kat-that is such a good video, although I was waiting for Grover and Big Bird to pop out! Was that originally from Sesame Street? IT TOTALLY MADE ME SMILE!

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts, well wishes and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there lady! Sending you hugs and good thoughts for you and your family!

Trish Ryan said...

Oh honey...I'm so sorry. I know how impossible that feels to not be able to help or fix anything or even know what's going to happen. I'm praying for your parents and your whole family!!! Please keep us posted ?

JODI said...

prayers abound for a speedy recovery

As Cape Cod Turns said...

Steph, Prayers are with you and your family. I am sorry that your dad is in the hospital and I am sorry you can't go on your anniversary vacation. Maybe you will just have to postpone it for a week or so. Hang in there and cry to us, we can handle it.

The Gang's Momma! said...

First off, what a beautiful post. I know, you are a wreck and struggling right now, but your heart is coming out all over here and it's gorgeous.

Second, please know that I'm praying for you. And for your Daddy to heal quickly and completely. And for all of you to feel the love of the Lord, calling to you and speaking tenderly to you of HIS care and HIS constancy.

Third, your family sounds amazing - supportive and encouraging and loving. You are a blessed woman.

MaBunny said...

Wow Steph, thoughts and prayers coming your way. I know exactly how you are feeling. I went through something similar like that with my parents about 4 years ago. Hope all turns out for the best.
Sending hugs your way:))

morninglight mama said...

You go ahead and cry as much as you need to-- I totally get that. I'm thinking of you and your family, and even though you don't know me from Jane Doe, I'm wishing the best for you all!!

Michelle said...

Wow, Steph -- good luck with your dad. That's a rough one. I know what it felt like whenever my grandparents would go into the hospital.

Is he at Tampa General? My grandfather spent about four months there, and they're amazing! Great place for him to be whether there's something wrong or not. Major fingers and toes crossed that there's nothing wrong.

Definitely keep us in the loop, and take care of yourself while worrying. We moms do great at the second part and horrible on the first part.

xxxx said...

CALL ME! CALL ME CALL ME CALL ME! I would call you now except you are probably asleep so ... CALL ME!

Barb said...

Stephanie ~ All my good thoughts and prayers are coming your way. TGH is a great hospital. Have a few friends that are nurses there. Let me know if there is anything I can do!

Melisa Wells said...

Oh my goodness, good vibes are on their way from my house! xoxo

DeeMarie said...

I'm praying... keep us all posted.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

You guys, thank you so much. He is at Memorial Hospital on Swann, not Tampa General, which by the way, is my birth place!

I do wish I was there right now though. Hopefully more to update later, but just talked to mom, and things seem to be good. He was up yesterday and they will get him walking around today.

Thanks again so much for everyone's thoughts and kind, kind words.

Stephen Parrish said...

Don't forget: anniversary tribute to Miss Snark on Pat Wood's Blog starting May 20th.

Anonymous said...


3carnations said...

I hope he makes a quick recovery.

Monnik said...

Oh, Manic. I hope he's out of there very soon. You clearly have a close knit, loving family. What a great example to show your kids.

Eileen said...

I'll be thinking of the whole family. Sometimes these things remind us how much we treasure those people in our lives.

Moll said...

Oh, Manic. Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you know what you need to do to work through this. Keep writing, writing, writing.

Are you going to go visit?

Sending you lots of hugs and love.


Tonya Staab said...

Sending strength and prayers your way. I was in tears as I was reading and I don't even know you but yes sometimes you do just need to write about things.

Unknown said...

OH Manic! I'm so sorry! But I'm glad he is going to be okay! And cry all you want. It does the heart and soul good. It really does. I mean, I saw on TV that it cleanes your system and releases all these "inset technical terms here". So it must be true!

Andie said...

many prayers and thoughts are headed your way! HUGS!

Shelley said...

Hugs to you...hope your dad is feeling better soon!

Anonymous said...

Pooker Pie! Guess what? You were born in St.Joseph's Hospital, as were Stacy and Boomer!!! Thanks to all of Stephies "blogger buddies" for all the love and prayers!...and I mean it! On Sat, when Daddy was out of recovery and put into his room, I walked into the room and the nurse was RUNNING HER FINGERS THRU HIS BEAUTIFUL HAIR!!! I was thinking of ripping her to pieces. However I composed myself(had to do that a lot in the past few days). Sally is great and still talking about what a handsome guy he is. I'm not exacttly a dog if I say so myself. Anyway, all the staff is very helpful and keep me focused. Thanks and 1-4-3 Nana aka Anonymus

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Oh, Boy! I don't even know what hospital I was born in! HI MOMMY!

So I can't believe the nurses are all over daddy feeling him up!!!! He has GREAT HAIR BY THE WAY!

Do you all know how much it took for my mom to type this comment??? She is not a very good typer so it took a long time for her, and she must be very appreciative of your thoughts and prayers so THANK YOU for making her feel less sad and lonely!!!!

Mommy, Daddy I LOVE YOU!!!!

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about your Dad...glad to hear he's doing better. You and your family will be in my prayers!!
Shelley (SPepper22)

Robin said...

Hi Manic and Manic's Mommy!

Sending prayers your way.

(Word verification is hugftfv

I am sure that means something like hugs fit for five!)

Cata63 said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I know that your dad will be just fine. He is an awesome 60 some person I have met. I hope that he gets better real soon.