It’s 12AM. I had been enjoying a lovely evening with my girlfriend’s family and my sister. A little tipsy off of wine might I add. And we were all winding down about to go to sleep before a long drive to see my mom for Mother’s Day 2016.
Ring. Buzz. Ring.
Hm. My stepdad calling me at 12AM. Strange, but I am too tipsy to notice. They must be tipsy too, enjoying the evening. Can’t wait to hear this story!
“Hey, what’s up?! Everything okay?”
I said with my usual upbeat energy. I hear my sister giggle in the background anticipating the call.
“Well, no. No, it’s not. Your mom. We’re at Beaufort Memorial Hospital..” the words forced their way out of his mouth.
I don’t know if I just was so not ready for this moment, but it hit me like nothing has ever hit me before.
It felt slow motion — I started convulsing. As the words “coughing blood, “we don’t know”, “doesn’t look good” hit my eardrums, convulsing turned to shaking. The look on my face was enough for my girlfriend and sister to reach immediate fear. My vision became blurry with tears as I looked to my baby sister and sputtered out what was happening to our mother.
As a kid, if you’re lucky as I’ve been blessed to be, there is one thing that is for sure.
Your parents are invincible.
I was sure of the same thing growing up. Even though I had so many reasons to believe otherwise. It’s crazy really. That our parents can make so many obvious mistakes and have so many human moments yet we can still see them as superhuman.
My mom is my world. My rock. My biggest supporter, and my best friend. Brought together by years of nasty divorce traumas, my mom’s relationship with my sister and me is extremely special. We’ve always packed a lot of love into the little moments we had together, and somehow that morphed into more than I think any of us could ask for. We are the true three musketeers.
My mom is a breast cancer survivor. Dr. Pepper Chapstick Hoarder. The founder of this is a “Small Piece of Time” club. And the best mother in the world.
So as you can imagine, I was quite distraught on my drive for 4 hours to see if my mother was dying. I had my girlfriend with me, but my poor little sister drove the whole way by herself. She is so strong. One of the strongest people I know.
We had this moment. Right before we started the drive, we looked at each other. Our eyes said more than our voices, but the words that came out were “It’s going to be okay. We are going to be okay.” Something about it. I’ll never forget it.
The ride to the hospital was excruciating, to say the least. I’m thankful I had someone with me to keep me sane. I bawled until there were no more tears to bawl. Every memory ran through my head as I reluctantly wined..
“I’m not ready mama. I’m not ready. Not yet mama. Please.”
As we got close to arriving, we received the news that it in fact was not life and death. I don’t know the medical way to say this. But something along the lines of her lungs/throat was so “weak” from smoking that when she had coughed that night, she’d coughed blood.
Fucking cigarettes. I hate them so much.
At this point, you can imagine the relief. Now, I just wanted to hold my beautiful mother again. I needed her loving embrace. I needed HER to tell ME it was going to be okay.
Out of my sister and me, my mom tends to consider me the more emotional one. I think it’s the writer in me. The empath, maybe.
As soon as I saw her, I just broke down. In her hospital gown. In that bed. She looked like she was actually dying. It broke my heart to see her on that table. She felt so weak. I became the little boy who used to follow her around like her shadow. I held on to her, and I held tight. While my sister held her other side. I’m twice her size now, but that didn’t matter.
I had my mama, and she had her babies. It was okay. We were okay.
The three musketeers.
I won’t ever be the same. I honestly don’t know if I can feel emotion as intensely as I did in those 4 hours driving to see if my mother was going to make it. I honestly don’t know if I even want to.
Now more than ever I cherish every conversation. Every hug. Every laugh. You really never know when it could be gone. Life is crazy. As artists, entrepreneurs and just plain humans, it’s important that we don’t forget to cherish what I tend to think life is about. These moments. Love.