CHAPTER 5 Lonely Nights

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copyright 2018 Chris Smith  All rights reserved.

"There are vast oceans inside me I've yet to swim."


I walked over to my closet in the living room, pulled out my bedtime clothes and grabbed my towel. Then I headed to the bathroom. The day was catching up. I stripped down and stepped onto the cold tub. The water would help wash off the worry.

I needed to fill up the house with sound so I put on some music. By the time I made it back into the kitchen, my tum-tummers had declared all-out war. It screamed ultimatums if it didn't get fed soon. Not fooling.

I turned on the stove and I cooked another egg sandwich, my style, as a late supper. But I had no tears. I was numb. I stared off into space. I put the sandwich on the plate and leaned back on the counter. I could not for the life of me process what happened.

Mom was in a hospital. After threatening the woman for months, Dad finally drove her right up to one and checked her angry ass in. Finally. And I was at home without the care-giving job of watching her mean-bully-ass.

When I sat down to eat, the food tasted good in my mouth. But this evening was wrong. The routine was the same. Finish the meal. Wash the dishes. Brush your teeth. Turn off the lights. Go upstairs. Do my stretches. Sleep. Try to live another day.

My footsteps were as heavy as my heart. I made the climb up the stairs to my room in the attic. It was a simple room with a slanted roof. It had a huge window. Many a moment I stood in front of it searching the sky for inspiration and a way out of this hellhole.

My bed was small. It consisted of a sleeping bag laid on the floor, a large plush Korean blanket on top of it for padding, a queen sheet folded in half, and two pillows. The bed was inviting me for sleep. But I'd kick myself in the morning.

If I didn't do my therapy my body would kick me too. It would not make me a happy camper in the morning. I'd been doing my therapy for years, since I started working with the Doc, our chiropractor, to regain my health. Now I did it out of habit and good body management.

First order of business was to send an update email to Mom's loved ones. The shit would hit the fan come sunrise when people woke up to the news in their inbox. They let my previous overshares slide. Wouldn't they be surprised how things had unfolded. Guess they'd have to face the music now. Stop the excitement.

Tomorrow the world would erupt. But first there was a little writing. I turned on the computer and poured it out into a small summary complete with highlights for easier reading and comprehension. Keep it simple stupid and always end in kindness even if you have to dig down to find any.

Update EMAIL on MOM

AUGUST 8 1:49 a.m.

We admitted my Mom to the Emergency room tonight.

She's anemic, and requires blood transfusions. Her white blood count is high, and they're not sure why yet. Also concerned about possible bone marrow issue, and an area of concern in her lungs. She will have to stay overnight, and possibly for a few days. They're ordering lab work, chest xray, and doing a CT Scan.

Dad found out today, Mom is covered for health insurance through his military insurance provider (which is fantastic).

My Dad is down at the hospital now, spending the night with her.

I know you're all concerned, as we are. We'll send out email updates as things are uncovered, makes it easier on us. We don't have the energy to get on the phone with everyone & answer a bunch of questions in an already emotional situation. Dad broke down at the hospital 3 times already. :)

The hospital, btw, is great. Very kind, supportive, and open to us not wanting to "dope" her up on a bunch of medications. Feel free to send thoughts, prayers, etc they are greatly appreciated and gratefully received.

I laid out the large towel on the carpet and started my nightly therapy and stretching routine. When I laid my head down on the bed, I wasn't sure I would dream. I was that tired. I couldn't get over how quiet the house was.

My Parents and I had a whole routine we did together before bed. We'd watch a movie over dinner and dessert. Then they'd floss their teeth during the rest of the movie. Mom would go into the bathroom to make a pit stop. She was notorious for brushing her teeth while on the toilet. I'd have to go into the bathroom to get something.

"Hi Mom," I'd say to her upon entering the bathroom.

She'd smile at me in between toopie-toop brushes.

Then I'd head to the kitchen to brush my teeth. Dad would be next in the bathroom to brush his teeth. My Parents would climb into bed in our living room. On my way out of the kitchen I'd turn off the light.

Then Mom would say, "Goodnight Kid," as I walked to the back room.

"Night Mom."

Dad hardly ever said goodnight. Mom always did.

Tonight, there would be no goodnight. There was only silence.

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