This is going to be an emotional and personal one. I don’t know if this is supposed to be a good or a bad event, but when I saw this topic my mind automatically went to the traumatic side. This is the “shit hitting the fan” that I alluded to in my earlier post.
As some of you may or may not know, my mother suffered a brain aneurysm in May of 1998. I was 18, Lisa was 22. We had just sold our condo and were packing for a move to Arizona from New Jersey. I was completely beside myself and didn’t want to leave for selfish reasons. I thought Arizona sucked and I loved my home.
I was out that night with a few friends, doing illegal things. This was before cellphones and I never had a beeper, but around 7, my friend Sara’s beeper started buzzing. It was my sister, with the message 911. I called her back and she just said, mom’s in the hospital, get here now. I knew my mom had been having back and leg problems, and I thought maybe it had to do with that so I didn’t freak out as Sara drove me to the hospital and dropped me off.
I got to the emergency room to see my mom’s best friends and Lisa, looking stark white and crying and shaking. At that point they didn’t know that my mom had the aneurysm, all we knew was that mom was fine one minute, and passed out and fallen on the floor the next, unresponsive. Lisa called 911, and they were unable to revive my mother at our home and took her to the hospital. No one could tell us if she was dead or alive.
A few hours in and we still didn’t know what had happened but Lisa wanted to stay at the hospital with mom. She was a wreck but she was not going to leave until she knew what happened. I was completely in shock I think, and my father, who had come to the hospital at some point, took me home and stayed the night with me.
I don’t remember getting back to the house. I do remember sitting in my window seat in my bedroom all night, and hearing my father crying for most of the night from where he was staying on our couch downstairs in the living room. (My parents were divorced already at that point.) I wasn’t even going to try to sleep, not until I heard from Lisa if our mother was alive, since we truly didn’t know yet.
I stayed in the window all night long, just crying and feeling so scared and so guilty for not being there. Lisa had been all alone when it happened, she must have been so scared. And where was I? Off smoking weed and being a fuck up, that’s where.
I tried to put on some music to distract myself or calm myself down and nothing was working. Not until “Angel” by Sara Maclachlan started playing. When that song came on, my sobbing slowed and I was able to take a few deep breaths. I played that song about a million times that night until the sun came up and Lisa finally called and told me that mom was alive.
So that’s the event. I think I’ll forever be traumatized by that night but I was so grateful to find a tiny bit of comfort from this song. I know when most people hear that song now you think of sad animals in shelters thanks to those commercials, but this is what I will always think of, because hearing it brings me right back there, back to being a terrified little kid on a very dark night.