I was laying in bed Monday morning, not quite half awake, when our phone rang. Wendy glanced at the caller ID and said "Suzanne, it's your mom's cell phone. Want me to get it?" My sleep-fuzzled brain briefly wondered why the hell she was calling so early and I said, "No. She'll leave a message." I snuggled deeper into the covers.
Somewhere else in the house my cell phone started ringing. I pretended I didn't hear it. Then Wendy's cell started ringing. Guess who? That's right! My mom. Wendy answered.
My stepfather, Hal, had had a heart attack while sleeping. She didn't know if he was going to survive.
This is, of course, a lesson to unplug and turn off all phones before going to bed. Kidding of course. Sort of. It's not been a week for many jokes. Hal was probably dead before my mother began CPR. Definitely by the time EMS transported him to the hospital.
So began a most bizarre week for my family. Well. It's going to be more than one bizarre week, I guess.
Wendy and I drove the few hours to where they live and found my mother ensconced in a living room full of caring neighbors. It is a tight knit community in a small town. (Well. Small is relative. I know someone who calls the town in which my parents live the New York City of Virginia's Northern Neck. I call it a quaint village.)
My mother introduced Wendy as her "bonus daughter," which always warms my heart more than words can say. She's a peach, my mom.
So was he.
It's been a long week. Eating was the only normalcy so we did a lot of that. I've gained weight grazing on the plentiful bounty the villagers are showering upon the grieving household. That bounty is the source of the title of this post. I may explain it later. Or not. It's a bit of levity we've leaned on often this week. No disrespect intended. Really.
We had just celebrated his 70th birthday: the day after we ate Thanksgiving dinner together, the same day we all spent raking leaves, and the day before I hugged him goodbye for what was to be the last time.
Argh. Just argh.