She came home after four hours in the hospital, completely drained. Pop had a heart procedure that used AED-like paddles to stop his heart in the hope of helping it beat to the right rhythm again. After driving both of my grandparents home, she frumped down in her seat at the dinner table. Without speaking, we instinctually grabbed our purses and coupons and set out for retail therapy.
We sat across from one another, many stores later, with shopping bags and cucumber cocktails as any twenty-something girl friends would. We talked about the procedure and how Pop is doing, a conversation which transitioned to talking about her childhood – things she cherishes and things she wishes she could forget. We talked about her sister and my brother, her vacations and my dates. She told me about work and I setting up my classroom. It was as if we were reuniting after years apart.
By the time we got back, it was dark, and she, as always, began to worry about my ride home. Within minutes of walking in the door, there she stood with a basket of folded laundry, a bundle of coupons, and bags of food that she insisted I need. I left after many hugs and kisses, and, although I’ll be back on Sunday, it felt like her absence from my world would be a lot longer.
It took me an hour of darkness to get back home.. my home.. to my little one bedroom apartment and sassy tortoise shell-colored fur ball. Once I arrived, I let her know that I was in fact safe. What I got back brought me to tears.
“Thanks for spending time with me.”
I’ve always said that I’d give anything to be a kid again, living in her house, watching her cook and hearing her laugh, but that’s not necessarily always true. I love this place.. this realm of dinner dates and heart-to-hearts. My mother is truly one of my best friends, and I know that I’m extremely lucky for it. It is I who is the thankful one.