My Christmas Day 2009

by Bella Rum

It’s almost 3:30 AM, and I can’t sleep. Yesterday was an exhausting day. H and I spent the entire day in the emergency room. We drove down to visit Dad on Christmas Eve. I tried to get him to go to the emergency room because he was sick – coughing up phlegm, some difficulty breathing, low-grade fever. He refused. Yesterday morning, C called.

H and I jumped in the shower, dressed and grabbed a piece of toast. It was a good thing, because that was all we ate until seven o’clock last night – except for some junk from a vending machine in the emergency room.

While I was sitting there, watching the hours tick away, I thought of you. Yes, I did. I pulled out my trusty, little camera, and because I desperately needed to entertain myself, I documented my Christmas experience so I could share it with you. It was surreal. Rootie, from the array of selections in the vending machine, I chose the Cheetos and thought of you. When my fingers turned yellow, I licked them, but only after touching every diseased surface in the room.

As we drove for over an hour to get to Dad’s, we discussed how we would get Dad to the hospital. We decided that an ambulance would be the best way. He lives on a steep hil, and the ground was soft from all the rain and snow we’ve had, and we knew he could never sit in a waiting room for hours. The EMTs were amazed at how sharp Dad was. When I couldn’t remember his social security number, Dad took over answering all the questions and reminding everyone that he’s allergic to penicillin.After an IV, oxygen, several blood lettings, a urine sample, an ex-ray, and an array of tests, they finally told us what we already knew. He has pneumonia. They kept him overnight, and they may keep him another night. He’ll be furious if he has to stay another night. He wants to go home, and he’s complaining about the food, how long it takes to do everything, the temperature in the room, etc. H said they will send him home today just to get rid of him.

We drove home in driving, slanting rain and fog. As the warmer rain hit the colder snow, the fog rose – beautiful but treacherous.

I hope they let Dad go home today.

To top off our wonderful day, we drove through the car wash on the way home. The car was filthy after all the snow and chemicals and sand on the roads. It was quite cocoonish in the car, with all that machinery and water and soap and wax enshrouding the entire car in darkness. Could anything be more romantic than a spot free rinse, Teflon coating, and automatic air dry? We held hands.

Then we came home. The Brother gave us a couple pints of oysters, and I made oyster stew for H. I ate a bowl of grits. Then I went to bed, and now I’m here with you once again.

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday with your families.