I know when to lean on my bride to be for support and unfortunately, today was one of those times – I received a phone call today from my mom. It started with her saying, “Max please don’t worry, everything is okay and don’t freak out.”
How am I supposed to react to something like that? How am I supposed to stay calm when someone close to you starts a conversation like this? My heart begins to race, I feel sick – so I need to know what is going on as fast as possible. My mom and I have always been very close. She raised me as a single mom and I was an only child. The close family I grew up with have been my grandpa, grandma, and my mom.
As it seems like days go by before she tells me what is going on, I think back to the end of May of this year. I received a similar phone call that started the same way. “Max you need to come home right away because I can’t watch the girls today,” she continued on to say “your grandma has not gotten out of bed all day and she has slept most of the day.” I remember panicking in that instant. My grandma has been in bad medical shape for the past couple of years and I won’t go into the laundry list of issues and medical conditions she has to deal with, but let’s just say we have been fortunate enough to have her make it this far along. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing her for 29 years now and have spent more time with her than most people get to with their grandparents. Although, I knew how bad of a medical condition she has been in recently, to receive a phone call, letting me know that they will be taking her to the ER by ambulance is still difficult. I remember leaving work right away and coming home. I have about a 30 minute commute home. And I remember now as I drove how I felt and what I thought. Is this it for her? Will she not make it this time? What was the last thing I said to her? Why didn’t I go see her one more time? What’s my grandpa going to do without her? Is she suffering right now? I found out that day that my grandma was going to be okay, and it was just another scare.
Back to my moms phone call. She began with, “Your grandpa fell last night and we spent the night at the hospital. Ambulance picked him up.” I begin to panic and can barely breathe. My grandpa has been like a Dad to me. Him and I are close, as close as a grandchild can be with a grandpa. I’m also getting married next week, the only person I need to make sure is there is him. Is he not going to make it to next week? “He scrapped up his knees, broke his shoulder, busted him arm and it will take 6 to 8 weeks to recover.”
Sigh of relief by me. As bad as it is for an 85 year old to take a bad fall, at least it was only his shoulder. It could have been much worse. He will still be there for our special day next week. I know my grandpa, and he wouldn’t miss this for anything. What is the lesson of all of this?
Well for one, I know that I hate bad news… I hate receiving phone calls that start with “Don’t freak out but…” And no matter what, it is difficult to deal with them. But what I attempt to do is stay positive. Stay energetic. Don’t let bad news bring you down. Learn a way to calm your nerves. Take deep breaths. Call your significant other to lean on, because these are the times that you most need each other. So Thank You to my better half for being there today. Tomorrow is another day.
08.28.13 – Max