As soon as I hear about it, my heart cracks for him.
Then the busy whodunnit human mind wants to know: What happened?
Was it a parting gift from a never diagnosed but likely bit of Covid, left on her front porch after ringing the bell and running like hell before she could open the door?
Or was it her body’s overflow at 60 years of non-stop smoking?
Or maybe it was her human makeup saying that two vaccines and a booster was too much weirdness?
Like many things these days, I will have to drop it in my WTFK file.
My growing, almost soothing Who The Fuck Knows file.
What I do know is that as I hear his voice across the phone last night, across the miles, the border, the Gulf of Mexico, my heart breaks.
“The nurse told us on the phone that she walked 100 feet today,” I say. He didn’t know. He likes this.
He tells me that he sat with her as she did her therapy and as one of his last grading assignments, he gave her a C+. I can feel him smile through the terror.
We both laugh at her confusion about being asked what day it is because heck, we don’t know that either. “These are not very good questions” he comments.
Hearing him laugh helps and aches at the same time. I’m not completely sure he’s not doing it for me.
I bet it’s been a long day.
When I ask about him, he tells me about her.
Tonight he’ll sleep alone in their bed for one of the few nights in the last 55 years.
I tell him he must eat. He tells me that he’s boiling a few shrimp.
I know she’ll be okay no matter what because that’s who she is.
She’ll find a way to boss everyone around at the rehab center, and they’ll still fall in love with her. Infuriating and enchanting.
My mother in law.
Because as she was lecturing loudly to all of us here in Mexico just a few weeks ago: family is family and we don’t throw family away. I have heard these words from her for the last 35 years.
The new day starts here and the roosters are busy making sure we know it.
I hope he slept.
I hope he ate more than five shrimp.
I hope today he gives her a B - and I hope hope hope that she is back in their bed next to him soon, bossing him around and rolling her eyes at him not remembering what day it is.