That’s us, the opposite of grace

The out-patient surgery waiting room at St. Francis isn’t a room so much as a very wide hallway lined with chairs and magazines. This, of course, made it easier for my family to annoy as many people as possible while we waited for my mom to go into surgery.

The four us marched into the waiting hallway together armed with Caribou coffee, and found my parents sitting against one wall with my Uncle Richard, who was sporting a GIANT anti-Obama button of some sort. Nice. Because there wasn’t going to be enough tension in the hallway with dad and the two daughters he hasn’t spoken to in years. Yes, years. Let’s throw in a little political bait on election day to make things a little more tinderboxy.

As soon as I sat down my mom asked me how I was doing, and I promptly burst into tears. It’s hard to talk politics or anything else when there’s a 6’5″ woman with greasy purple hair sobbing in the waiting hallway. Not that my dad was doing any talking, instead he chose to stare pensively into space as though if he didn’t look at Sister #2 and #4 they wouldn’t actually be there across from him.

Not that they could be ignored. I don’t know if it was their nervous energy or an attempt to buoy mom’s spirits, but those two were like Abbot & Costello cracking incessant jokes, none of which were funny. Between my intermittent crying and their jokes, I’m pretty sure everyone else in the waiting hallway wanted to kick our asses. I don’t blame them.

And then because there weren’t enough of us to annoy them, my Aunts Rosie and TeTe came waltzing in wearing similar (though not matching) sparkly sweatshirts that proclaimed their pride at being Grandmas.

I wish I was kidding or exaggerating about any of this. But I’m not. You can ask anyone in the hallway. I’m sure they’d remember us.

The rest of the time passed in a salty, sleep-deprived, unfunny jokes, awkward non-conversation haze. Tuesday will go down in the annals of Supergeniusdom as one of the worst days ever. A day so bad it has taken me two days and sixteen hours of sleep to properly recover.

Speaking of recovering, my mom is doing swell. The cancer had not spread to her lymph nodes (which she repeatedly pronounces noids) and she is going to spend the week off from work playing with her new iPad.

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4 Comments

  1. Kevin Fenton 05.Nov.10 at 7:46 am

    Glad you’re Mom’s okay. Two of my sisters are surgeries who work in pre-surgery roles. Your family wouldn’t even make the quarter finals of obnoxious. No actual political shouting, attempts at humor, jaunty Grandma sweatshirts. That barely merits an I’m With Stupid t-shirt.

    Reply
  2. Anaximander 05.Nov.10 at 8:03 am

    I’ve got a sick mom, too. I’m glad yours is (relatively) good. The waiting in the hallway part was always the worst for me. It got so bad that we are no longer allowed to call my mom’s mom OR her sisters to even notify them of impending surgery – the stress of having them there or calling or ANYTHING makes mom’s condition intolerably worse, so says the cardiologist. I agree with Mr. Fenton – as awful as it seemed, trust me, it could be much, much worse. You & your family are in my thoughts.

    Reply
  3. Lori 05.Nov.10 at 9:34 pm

    I’m sorry your family is going through a hard time, but you’re still a great storyteller.

    Reply
  4. Jags 06.Nov.10 at 10:27 pm

    Not in the lymph nodes is big!!! I’m glad she’s recovering well from the surgery. Don’t forget to take care of yourself.

    Reply

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