I was getting ready to make a batch of rice and beans around five pm. yesterday when the phone rang. It was Louise, a nurse in the emergency room at Pocono Medical Center. Louise was calling to tell me that Dad was there. He'd been in a car accident. He'd hit a telephone pole, but he was okay. She'd called earlier but didn't want to leave a message.
"I don't like to leave those kind of messages for people," Louise said.
"I'll be right there," I said, even though she said, no need to rush.
Claire and I grabbed our coats and hopped in the car.
People who work in hospitals are mostly wonderful, but I don't care for them. Hospitals, I mean. For some reason if I'm in one for too long, my chi drains right out my toes. It must be all the tubes and beeping things. I'm exhausted.
Claire and I spent over four hours with Dad, waiting for him to get admitted. People came and went, checking his vital signs; there we sat. To make things interesting, it was a bit of a shout fest because Dad didn't have his hearing aids in.
At one point, Claire and I went foraging for food. At the cafeteria we got the following items: french fries, a banana, and Cheerios, no milk. I had a cup of tea. Claire had pink lemonade. Does that cover the five food groups?
We talked as we inhaled the fries and Cheerios.
Do not try this type of food combining at home!
"You know, Mom, I feel lucky. I have a grandfather who doesn't slump, isn't depressed, and smiles all the time," Claire said.
If there was ever an odd duck, well, let's say, Dad qualifies. But I'm crazy about him, and Claire was right on all three counts.
Back in the ER room, Dad told us some jokes. I rarely remember jokes but this one stuck.
A priest was walking down the street and saw a little boy trying to reach a doorbell at a house. Wanting to be helpful, the priest went up on the porch and rang the bell for the boy.
He looked at the boy and said, "What do we do now?"
The little boy said, "Run like hell, Father!"