The week after a few tests to examine her heart, Mom sat me down at lunch at Whole Foods to tell me that they “found something.” Those words should never be uttered. Something was found. Don’t know what it is, but it is something and it was bad enough to be found. That phrase never means something good. They found something in my heart – it’s a pot of gold next a genie to grant three wishes! Rainbow Brite was in there, too. She sends her love.
So, Mom went in for tests. I could tell she was nervous, because underneath her tough posterior, she lets a little worry out under her eyes. You have to be watching her every second, because it comes and goes very quickly. She often looks down or to the side to avoid making eye contact after her moment of worry.
So, back to the heart hospital. After Grandma and Dad, we joke that they should name a wing for our family, used exclusively for our family. I know everything in the vending machines, where all the rooms are, where the chapel is, where the bathrooms are. I have the smell and colors memorized. For a hospital, it’s cozy. I hate it. It means they found something.
Both Mom and Dad were shaky about this test. Mom cracked jokes and we talked about the dogs before she went in. After she went in, Dad grew quiet and contemplative. I knew this was a bad place for Dad to be, and it was my job to keep him out. About ten years ago, after my first seizure, Dad stood at the bottom of my hospital bed, rubbing my feet, telling me everything was fine. The seizure was caused by epilepsy, but at the time it could have been anything from just a seizure to a disease to dictate my life to a brain tumor to end it. But Dad was smiling and fine and that made me fine, too. He has an inexplicable ability to calm people. I think it comes from his rock hard faith in Jesus Christ, his 44 years in law enforcement and his 65 years on the planet and going through the bad stuff.
Dad counted every minute Mom was away. I kept explaining every extra minute. Going over how if it was a clot it was gone now, if it was an electrical problem they were fixing it and how the time she was away was spent in the care of the best and she was FINE. I believed it. I believed it not because I had to because Dad was nervous, but because God wouldn’t do this to me again, and if he did, we would get through it only by His hand, and I knew this, and wasn’t worried because I am His child and my father’s daughter.
Mom has great arteries, we were told when she came out. Just past the age when both her parents died, she is healthy. I praise God for her arteries. Mom is happy and relaxed, so is Dad, and even though her pain and the other tests are still a mystery, we now have proof, undeniable proof, that her heart is fine, and we are still strong.