The Pie Baker

Fresh from the Oven

What Could Have Been

I’m a person with a very vivid imagination; when presented with a situation, I am the first to imagine how it will play out. From start to finish, my mind plays a little mini-movie of the dialogue, the setting, hairstyles, fashion, etc. I wish I could somehow stop it from happening, but then again, I’m not 100% sure I would want to lose that. I use it almost as a form of training to be prepared in handling whatever turn each set of circumstances might take. I can envision all the things that might be said, actions that might be taken and all the possible results.

That is why on Labor Day, I found myself in a panic. I had planned to spend the day hanging out with the Pie and just generally being lazy, but my aunt called me mid-morning to inquire about the status of my Dad. See, since my mom died, my father’s sisters have appointed themselves the watchdogs of my dad; too bad they live so far away. So when any issue arises regarding my dad’s health or general welfare, they’re on the horn to me faster than a duck on a junebug!

“Aunt Dee” : “Do you know why Jack isn’t answering the telephone?
I wanted to respond: “No, but if you hum a few bars….”

Anyway – since Dad is very hard of hearing and equally hard headed, there could be at least 4 or 5 actual reasons he wasn’t answering the phone, so I called. And I called and I called and I called. In fact, for about 2 hours, I called every 5 minutes. In that time, the aforementioned active imagination went into overdrive. I kept trying to calm myself with an internal dialogue that went a lot like this: “He’s outside and doesn’t hear the phone, that’s all. No need to get all bent out of shape.” And faster than a new Porsche on the Autobahn, I thought “Oh, God – bent out of shape” – like my father could be bent out of shape in the backyard as a result of tripping over one of the 627 various pieces of junk furniture, PVC pipe or other ridiculousness!!!

Finally, in a brief moment of clarity, I decided to just get in the car and go on a look-see. I packed the Pie’s backpack with necessary items such as pull-ups, water bottle, drink mix sticks, a book and a toy and snacks. I didn’t know how long we’d be gone. Then we got in the car and headed north. And don’t think I didn’t try calling on the cell phone either! The drive takes about 20 minutes and I think I rang the thing about 58 times! Unfortunately, the Pie knew something was up….she was unusually quiet in the back seat and didn’t chatter away like she does. She watched out the window as the landscaped passed and I couldn’t help but wonder what she was thinking.

In my mind, I was trying to process all the possibilities of what I might find when I reached my dad’s house. Would he be conscious? Would he be in bed or on the floor? What if he fell in the tub? How would I get him out? What if he was bleeding or had an appendage trapped under another one of the 627 various pieces of junk furniture, PVC pipe or other ridiculousness? And what if, God forbid, he had passed peacefully while he napped in his recliner? I imagined the TV blaring away while the phone rang incessantly next to him and his body cold and stiff in the La-Z-Boy. What would I do with the Pie? Who would I call first? Where were the important papers? What is his favorite hymn?

All of this irrationality was further inflamed when I pulled into the driveway…I was immediately transported in my mind to the day my mother died. I sensed an eerie quiet about the house that I remembered feeling when I got out of the car on that January day. I took a deep breath, shook my head to clear out all the negativity and took the Pie’s hand. We approached the front door, not sure what we would find. Of course, the screen door was locked and just as I was about to begin hacking the screen out with my key to reach the lock, my dad opened the front door. We both jumped back a bit at the unexpected sight of each other and then I started scolding him proper!

We eventually learned, after about a 45 minute investigation, that the phone cord was not fully plugged in to the phone/answering machine base. So let this be a lesson …don’t let your imagination run away with your good sense. And make sure your elderly parents know how to operate their electronic devices!


September 16, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. You poor thing, I think you have been hanging around me too much. Speaking of worries, I am concerned about Suzie, maybe you could give her a call.

    Comment by Donna | September 16, 2009 | Reply

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