Tuesday, October 5, 2010

D Day Minus 160: (September 29, 2009): Drama for Mama

"Did you get lost?" I teased when you finally reemerged through the automatic double doors that sucked you in almost four hours before.  It was almost 8:00 at night. We'd been at MD Anderson since 7:30 in the morning.  I was tired, hungry, and relieved to see you.  So relieved, I didn't even call you a naughty name or try to shock you into a smile with a cuss word as usual. But just so you know -- I thought about it.

"Nah. Just had to find a PET Scan that worked."  You said with bright and rested eyes.  Mine had dark circles from lack of sleep and smudged eyeliner pencil.  I'd made up a scary scenarios about what went wrong while you were 'Lost in the Land of PET Scans.'  I couldn't do much else. I was stuck in the waiting room because I wanted to be there when you finished.  If I would have known the deal, I would have at least walked the Skybridge and made phone calls.   But I didn't. 

You slept most of the time, while I was held hostage.  In fact, you bragged about how good you felt and that it was actually nice to have the PET Scan machine break down.  At least you finally got to lay down and didn't have to worry about where to go or what to do next.  All you had to do was take it easy, listen to some eighties classics on your iPOD, and get ferried through the bowels of MD Anderson in search of a working PET Scan.  And catch some zzzzz's while you waited. 

I collected my zebra clad electronics spread out on the empty chair next to me.  I made sure to pick up the empty Dentyne wrappers that escaped from my Zebra bag. I threw away all the empty contraband bottles as soon as I finished them.  I didn't want you to know how much I drank. 

We hurried to the bus stop so we could get back to the hotel and figure out 'what's for dinner.'  We both agreed that delivery sounded good.  You returned texts to your friends at Wegmans while we walked.  That was until you got a good enough signal to call Katie.  Then we both made our calls. I called Dad and Aunt Janiene with the Reader's Digest Version.  I tried to call Morgan, but she didn't pick up. So I left a message. She was in bed or finishing up her Shaun T Insanity workout.  While you talked to Katie, I fished for the business card for the Residence Inn, from my purse.  I didn't see a shuttle anywhere so I called up the Hotel to let them know we were waiting.

You were still talking to Katie and pacing between bus stops on the median in front of the Main Building of MD Anderson.  Meanwhile, I wondered where the summer had gone – and what was going on with you and Katie. You were far enough away that I couldn’t hear exactly what was being said.  The only thing I could make out was, “something about next week.” “It was going to be okay” “I’m here,” (followed by three steps, a pause, and a neck rub).  Then another, "I’m here,” (followed by three steps, a pause, and a neck rub).  And another "I’m here,” (followed by three steps, a pause, and a neck rub).

“Do you think Katie can live with us?” You asked, flipping your cell phone shut.

“Hmm?” I said, biting my lip. “What’s going on?”

“Her parents are upset about the trip next week to Houston. And about how much time we’re spending together.” You sighed like that sigh would erase all of Katie's fear.

“She hasn’t told them you are a couple. Has she?” I said with a keen eye for a white shuttle bus from Marriott Residence Inn.

“No.” You stood up, only to sit right back down. You were fooled by white shuttle that wasn’t ours. “I told her I loved her and we’d work through this together.  And that I’m here.”

“I know. I know.” I laughed. “You only said, I’m here, like a thousand times.”

"You need to talk to her parents and let them know your intentions.  She's their daughter.  I know she's an adult, but she's their daughter.  They love her.  They deserve to know what is going on.  I'm not going to get on my high horse again about if it were Morgan. But, you know what I mean.  I love Katie and I love you. We can talk about options after you talk to her parents.  But, I think things will be okay."

 "I know." You said pointing to our ride.  "We're going to talk with them --- together -- on Friday."

"Good." Is all I said as I stepped into the shuttle.

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