Just in the Nick of Time
It was a Friday afternoon, I had just finished cleaning the kitchen and the phone rang. My father was on the other end and he sounded very strange. I was expecting him and my mother to arrive the next day for their first visit since I had moved to North Carolina. There was a strange sound in my father’s voice. He was hesitating, cautious, sad and confused. This was an abnormal act for my father and immediately I knew something was wrong. As I attempted to figure out just what the problem might be I heard him say, its mom. My heart came to a screeching halt, the blood rushed to my brain and I felt faint.
The most precious thing in my life was in trouble and I was thousands of miles away and helpless. As I regained my composure, I took a deep breath and asked the major question, what’s wrong with mom? There was an eerie quiet on the other end of the phone. Mom has leukemia. Being the eldest and always the one to look after all my siblings and younger relatives, I always had to be strong. At this particular time and place, I needed help. My chest tightened, I couldn’t catch my breath, the room began to spin and for the first time in years I could feel the heat of the tears as they began to run down my cheeks.
The voices in the room seemed to be coming down a tunnel. Everyone seemed so far away. My body began to hurt. I began to hyperventilate. I realized that at this very moment I couldn’t get a flight to Texas because I had 2 spent every dime trying to make everything perfect for their visit. Now I cried because I couldn’t get to my mothers side at the most critical time of our lives. I walked into the hospital lobby; the smell of alcohol was thick in the air. I was eager to get to the ICU floor until the elevator stopped.
The doors opens slowly, it seemed to take an hour, the walk to the nurses’ station seemed brought back memories of my childhood. Mom had been very sick and dad took me to see her. As I walked closer, the picture continued to roll in my mind. I began to experience the same fear, me, forty years old, a soldier and I was having problems facing the fact that mom was in the hospital, no, that mom was sick, no, that mom was in a coma, no, that mom was near death. My mom didn’t get sick. I stopped at the desk; the nurse seemed to be too busy to notice me.
I cleared my breath, out of instinct, one, out of necessity, two and because I was having extreme difficulty asking what ICU unit my mom was in. I looked around and notice my father sitting across the room, I walked over, the sound of my heart beat so loudly I didn’t hear my father greet me. My eyes were wet and burning fixed on the unbelievable. Mother lay in front of me, motionless, doll like. There were tubes in her throat, in her nose and one coming out of her side. There was no sound except the low beep, beep, beep of the monitor that let everyone know she was still living.
I walked over trying to act brave because I was mommy’s big boy and I didn’t cry. I kept hearing that over and over in my head as tears streamed down my face. I was glad she couldn’t see me now. I leaned over and whispered in her ear, ‘mom I’m here, I’ll get you well. I’m sorry I’m late. ’ 3 I stroked her arm and kissed her face, my God, she was freezing. I looked at my father and said daddy, mom is freezing. I knew now that dad was not in his right mind. Everyone knew mom would get cold on a summer day if the wind blew, while she stood under a tree.
This thought had slipped dad’s mind. I later found out they were inducing a coma so she wouldn’t be in such pain. Her temperature was staying high but fluctuating with in three degrees. The nurse tried to explain that if the fever didn’t break we could lose her. GET ME A SHEET!! I screamed. Everyone looked at me as if I were insane. “She’s cold; for God’s sake she is cold”. My father suddenly jumped from his chair almost running, he’s right, “she’s fighting because she is cold and it is causing her to have a fever”! Could this be possible?
Get the doctor, cried the nurse, he has to okay it first. No! said my father, I have okay’ed it, get me the sheet. Dad gave me the sheet and said, “here son, cover your mother”. I slowly spread the sheet over her body making sure to cover every part, almost like she would tuck me in when I was a child. I securely tucked her in all the way down to her feet. Here she would always fold the sheet like and envelope and tuck my feet, so I did the same. We had to leave for the night but she looked warm and peaceful. I kissed her goodnight and we went to the hotel. 3
I stood on the balcony and watched the festival going on, it was ‘Cinco De Mayo’ usually a very festival time but tonight it seemed so far in the distance though it was only a few blocks away. I was exhausted but didn’t wasn’t to sleep, afraid I might miss something, after all it had taken me three weeks to get to mom, no one in the family offered help. I tried to remember everything my mind had stored. I tried to go back to child hood. I just wanted to remember every little thing I had ever known about mom. There had to be a way to save her. I had offered blood but was told, I wasn’t a match.
What can I do, what can I do? Rest, I should rest now. Mom will need me in the morning. I went to dad and told him mom is going to be awake tomorrow. Dad looked confused, why do you say that son? Dad, mom was cold and fighting to tell someone, watch, just watch, she will wake up. Dad said okay son, let’s rest. We finished breakfast and went straight to the hospital. There mom lay, no tubes, none. We all broke down, she had been cleaned up and her stats were normal. The doctor walked over, looked at my father and asked, “Who would have thought that the fever was being generated by her being cold”?
Dad looked at me and said, my son, “he’s her first born and I guess he knows more about her than even I do”. “How is she, doc”. “She is doing much better”. The doctor looked at me and said, “son you made it, just in the nick of time, we were treating her for infections and she was simply cold”. “Had we kept that up we would have totally broken down her immune system”. “I have some good news though”, “Maxine is 4 awake”. “She has been conscious now for about an hour”. “She is a little disoriented and can’t talk but I am sure she will be very happy to see you all”.Sample Essay of Essayontime.com