Heading home

Published by pam on Tue, 02/28/2012 - 2:23pm

I live on an island.  I take a ferry from the city across Puget Sound to get home.  It's about a 35 minute ride.  I have my car.  Sometimes I go upstairs to see who else might be heading home on the same boat, but not this time.  This time I stay in my car.  My head is spinning.  I call my husband to tell him I'm on my way home.  I might tell him more.  I haven't decided yet.  The phone rings and rings.  There is no machine to pick up because we are refinishing the floors and the phone connected to the machine has been unplugged.  The phone just keeps ringing until I finally give up.  Maybe Marc is on the business line.  I wait five minutes and call again.  Then I wait five minutes more.  And five minutes more.  This time my daughter picks up.  
She doesn't know.  She'd be horrified if she knew.   She wouldn't be rude.  I know how sensitive she is and how hard she tries to bury what she feels.  I feel bad for her because I know at some point, she'll put the pieces together in her mind and shell beat herself up for every little mistake she made along the way.  She's a lot like me. And I remember how it was.  In the last months of my mother's life I found myself retracing every conversation we had, always wishing I could go back and say exactly the right thing. But I couldn't.  And neither can she.
"Is Dad home?"
"Do you know where he is?"
"A meeting I think.  Do you have to pick up Miller?"
"I don't know.  Did she call?"
"Twice I think.  Why is there no answering machine!?!"
For a moment, I am tempted to play the I MIGHT HAVE CANCER YOU CAN'T TREAT ME LIKE THAT card, but I don't.  I vow to myself not to play that card.  If this has to happen to me, then I want people to expect more from me, not less.  I don't want to be special.  I want to survive.