« Poodle breaks Old Yeller's heart. | Main | I'm in KY, so I'll »

Said goodbye to the houseguests

Said goodbye to the houseguests this morning. My cousin, his wife and their 10-year old daughter (who turns out, for those keeping score, is my “first cousin once removed” and not my “second cousin”, as I had previously thought) came in from Cincinnati on Friday night and spent a long weekend in the city. It was a great visit -- museums, theater, good food, fun times. I got to reconnect with Scott and Kate (who are always a guaranteed grin) plus see a glimpse of Manhattan through the eyes of a pre-teen girl. I still say there’s some truth to the theory that the only thing separating (early) middle-aged gay boys and teenaged girls is that we have bank accounts.

Anyway, on my commute to the office, I was really struck by a sense of family, and what warm, fulfilling feeling that can be. My thoughts turned to my folks and my sister, and the odd dichotomy between being emotionally close but physically far away. How it’s good to be removed from the day-to-day drama, but that I should make an effort to try to close up some of that distance … either through phone calls or visits.

I’m planning on being home for a couple days this weekend, tying a trip to Cincinnati onto a business trip to Louisville. Mom had decided to take Friday off to spend some extra time with me, which is good but perhaps getting close to overload – I always look forward to spending some quiet time w/ my sister and her kids, and getting everybody together often results in more chaos than quality. I thought it might be nice to go for a drive with Mom and visit some Aunts and Uncles – just have some one-on-one car time and knock out a few family visits as well.

So I’m feeling pretty good about things. I’ll spend some time with everyone and not be overwhelmed or try to plan a big shindig. And it’ll be good to see Mom on her own for a bit. She’s still young (60), but she has her health issues. Some are certainly legitimate, but some are overblown, perhaps a little attention-seeking.) This is the woman who has phoned, “just to let you know I think I’ll go to the emergency room if I don’t feel better in a few hours.” I love a pre-planned emergency.

Oops, negativity. Release that. Hold on to these warm feelings and going to spend some quality time with her, ‘cause you never know when the next trip home is for an unexpected funeral. Oops, more negativity … perhaps a trifle morbid, but that’s what passed through my head.

The phone rang here a little while ago – caller ID says it’s a 513 number, which means Ohio. A closer look reveals it’s my sister calling, no doubt to confirm arrival times.

“Hey, just want to let you know I just left Christ Hospital and mom’s been admitted. I’m sure you’ll be getting a call later on tonight.”

“What’s wrong?”

“They’re not sure, it’s probably nothing, but they want to run some tests to make sure she’s not having a heart attack. It could very well be bad reflux.”

I ask what kind of tests. Turns out they’ll do a cardiogram and, if warranted, an angiogram. The doctor assured both my mom and my sister that she didn’t suffer a major coronary, but they wanted to take a closer look.

We went through a similar scenario several months ago. Horrible chest pains and pressure, a trip to the emergency room, a couple days of tests which led to the conclusion that nothing was wrong. Go home. Watch your diet. Get on an exercise program.

I’m sure she’s fine. I’m sure that she could be taking better care of herself. I’m sure she’s in good hands and that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

I just wish I hadn’t had that funeral thought this morning.