Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Answering the Call

“My grief lies all within,
And these external manners of lament
Are merely shadows to the unseen grief
That swells with silence in the tortured soul”

Five years ago, June 30 fell on a Saturday too. The night before I "inadvertently" called my parent’s home phone – I was trying to reach some friend. Who? I can’t really remember. But I mistakenly punched in "mom and daddy" in my contact list. My daddy answered, awoken from his slumber, his temperature already spiked, no doubt Death already making a bed for him at the Inn. The disorientation would happen later on Saturday, the disorientation that would prompt my mom and dad to say, "Something is not right." But my daddy answered the phone and I had one last conversation with him that went pretty much like this: “Oops! Hi Daddy! (giggle) Did I wake you? I meant to call (so-and-so). So sorry!” What I can’t remember is if I said "I love you." I often said "I love you." I hoped I did that time. I’m afraid I probably didn’t. But I just don't know. That same cell phone would be tucked away in my purse the next night, June 30. Me, oblivious to its constant ring over the evening, my family's repeated calls to tell me, "Something is not right." When I finally stumbled home I was able to retrieve the messages and talk to my brother and imagine that haunting image of my daddy, the protector, the funniest man alive, lying in a hospital bed, glazed eyes, hooked up to a respirator with no jokes to tell. I laid on my bed bargaining with...someone, waiting for my daddy to call me. After what felt like hours with no word, but was probably more like 10 minutes, I dialed my mom's number, my brother's number...No one was answering their phones....Five years later, I still wonder if that "no cell phone policy in hospital rooms" meant that my phone call attempts conflicted with the respirator's frequency that just couldn’t pump life back into him anymore. That one phone that got through to him the night before.

1 comment:

amyd said...

I think about my last conversation with him a lot. It was good-about his Civil War trip and how excited he was. Ugh! Wah! Wah!