Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Phone Rang

Ever since my mother called me at 2 am to tell me my father had died of a sudden heart attack , I have an entirely reasonable trepidation when the phone rings at odd times. This doesn't just mean late at night or early in the morning although that is when I am freaked the most. Whenever my mother-in-law calls during the day it sends streaks of unease through my stomach. Usually it is unwarranted but the call we received a week ago justified the queasy feeling. Her sister had been rushed to the hospital and they had discovered that her cancer treatments hadn't prevented the growth of a tumor which was cutting off the supply of blood returning to the heart. She was taken off life support about 24 hours later and died 17 minutes after that.

I had been expecting it about Shan's grandfather, I don't know how many times we've been told that he is a short timer. Last summer when his thyroid had shut down and he had cancer they were beginning radiation for, the word was, he probably wouldn't make it to Thanksgiving. I am not sure if that was a pronouncement from the doctor or if the family is making guesses. Since he is still here I would bet it was the latter.

Don't we all dread that phone call? Come to think of it, most calls after 10-10:30 and before 7 am are usually bad news. In college it meant that my alcoholic roommate was drunk and needed a ride. Of course that was after she temporarily lost her driver's license for driving drunk. She still drove to the bars but she called me for a ride home. Since I don't drink and my boyfriend lived 3 hours away she figured I'd be home and sober. I was, usually in bed so I could get up for church.

More recently we get early calls from people who read the newspaper early and want to buy whichever item we've got listed. Since our paper will let you place a free ad for items less than $75 it is better than a garage sale. I am usually sleeping at 6 am but people forget the niceties when there is a deal on something. Right now I need to list the old microwave, ( finally the new one is here and installed), a headboard from my grandmother's house, and a patio set since I got a new one for Mother's day. Better get ready for the early phone calls.

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