Playin’ Catch Up or Life and Death What a Ride
There’s so much going on in the personal life that I either haven’t had the time to blog about or didn’t have the wherewithal. Not sure which just yet.
So….on Friday hubby came home and said; “Let’s go for a ride!”
Awesome! Thunk I. But, I had a sneaky feeling. “You want to go to Rhode Island?” I asked.
“Well, I thought maybe….” Said he.
Damnit! There’s a freakin’ Helmet Law in Rhode Island and it concerns ME. Not HIM…not the ‘driver’ just the ‘passenger’.
So, begrudgingly I donned Ye Olde Beenie Helmet….hubby thinks it’s old riot gear from the 70’s. I say it looks like a cop helmet from the 70’s but neither of us knows for sure. Hell…I don’t even know where/when we got the damn thing anymore! LOL But if you happen to remember “CHiPs” or the Chicago Riots…it looks something like that.
We rode down the road and headed toward Rhode Island but without a destination in mind. We stopped just before the Rhode Island border so I could put the freakin’ helmet on. Shortly after crossing the RI border, we passed the ‘Westerly Hospital’ sign. For an unknown reason, I thought of Cousin for a fleeting moment and then it passed. Then we road up to SnobVille….oh excuse me, that’s not right….it’s Watch Hill. For those of you who think ‘eastern Connecticut’ is rich…I got news for ya.😉 Taylor Swift just bought a house in Watch Hill, RI. Yep, we had Katherine Hepburn in/around Old Saybrook, not too far from me, but they got Taylor Swift. Let’s not talk about the people with homes on Block Island, Fishers Island and/or Long (Lun-g if you’re from here) Island.
Watch Hill, for all intents and purposes, is the Rich Person’s Honky Tonk. On first look it appears much like Sound View here in Connecticut, which is ‘well off’ but not ‘rich’ and still, I dunno, manages to keep that Yankee Flay-vah. In Watch Hill, it doesn’t take long before you see the architecture of the buildings (designed to look like sooooo many Yankee Honky Tonks!) until you notice the shops and the price tags and realize you may be out of your league.😉
These are nice, huh?
Yeah. No. They’re not ‘Summer Rentals’ as in ‘Cottages on The Beach’ (which we all happen to adore here in New England) those are privately owned cabanas.
In case you’re not getting my point just yet
That is a very sweet yacht…BUT….the houses are even nicer
You gettin’ my point now? I’ll bet, I’m NOT SURE mind you, but I’ll BET BOTH of those houses are ‘summer homes’.
Not saying those home owners aren’t hard workin’ folk but…I doubt it.
Any-hoo…while we were up that way I kept thinking we should pop in on Cousin. But I didn’t say anything.
We wandered a short ways around SnobVille, RI….tried to find our friend’s house and failed miserably! Damnit!
Then, on our way home, we passed the ‘Westerly Hospital’ sign AGAIN on our way back. Again, the image of my Cousin went through my brain.
On our way home we passed the ‘Westerly Hospital’ sign again. I thought of my again Cousin for a fleeting moment and then it passed.
We went down the long nasty road with all of the Jersey Barriers
Down the middle. This road is good on a motorcycle but I HATE it in a car. It’s too freakin’ narrow for 1-2 miles of Jersey Barriers right down the center to keep you, the possibly drunken driver coming back from Misquamicut Beach, from crossing to the other side of the road. Oh yeah, that’s Miss-Qua-Mah-Cut for those of you who don’t speak ‘Yankee Indian’…shit…’Yankee Native American’…LOL
I felt sick. More than that, I kept feeling as though we should turn around.
I really wanted to get OFF the bike and get some AIR which is ridiculous considering I was on A BIKE going down the ROAD and had PLENTY of AIR. I felt that twitch that I sometimes get in my left cheek, the one that “Hannah’s” stroke foretold in a “House, MD” story of mine so long ago. Each time I feel it, unto this day, I wonder if *I’m* having a stroke or a TIA. (Transient Ischemic Attack). We rolled down the road with my stomach churning and, after a while, my eyes scrolled upward and read; Governor Dannell Malloy. On a blue and white sign. They kept going up until they comprehended; “Welcome to Connecticut”. At which point I RIPPED the helmet OFF my head without waiting for hubby to pullover.
I felt better.
We decided to go to the Seahorse Restaurant in Noank, CT on our way home. I didn’t even know if the place was still there! Off we went and we found it and it was open. It’s still jumping. Still got great food. Still got excellent service. Is still the ‘lower New England’ of a Honky Tonk Restaurant. We ordered. I checked my phone to see there were 2 voice messages. I recognized the first number and thought; Oh, fuck them. I did not recognize the second number.
Hubby and I went outside for a smoke. I listened to my voice mail. I deleted the first one as the crap I knew it was and listened to the second…3 or 4 times! The caller was breaking up the whole time they left the message but something told me to keep listening. So I kept repeating it until I could understand two words; ‘Dick’ and ‘TIA’. I looked at hubby and said; “Oh shit! Dick’s had a STROKE!”
That would be ‘Cousin’ who lives in RI, for those of you who are unaware.
I played it one more time and realize its his daughter, Lynn, who’s left the message. I kick myself in the ass for not ‘seeing the signs’ and listening to that inner voice that was trying so hard to tell me what was going on. I talked to her for a few minutes, the reception was horrible, I could hardly make out what she was saying other than that he’s in a VA Hospital and they don’t know if it was a stroke or a TIA. Shaking, I went into the Seahorse and made it through my French Onion Soup telling hubby what happened.
Again, for those of you who don’t know, Dick is the ONLY FAMILY I have left outside the one I created for myself. He has kids and siblings and there’s other relatives but as far as FAMILY goes…he’s it. The End.
I called his cell phone from the parking lot with that crappy reception. I managed to get through to him and talk a bit. His speech is slurred and he’s aphasic, which I knew all about and expected thanks to that story I wrote so long ago! Therefore I wasn’t shocked off my feet when I heard him talk.
Sometimes being a writer comes in handy.🙂
I called him again when we got home and have been in touch ever since. He’s alive. He’s very aware. Just his speech has been mangled. We’ve been texting a lot so he doesn’t get frustrated.
I got in the bath that night, looked upward and said; That’s NOT a day you want to see. So do all you can to make sure he outlives me.
Notes were taken on the part of The Big Guy and a bargain was struck. I’ll keep to my end if he keeps to his.
Skip ahead a bit. I did more promo and a tiny bit of work on the story over the last few days. Hubby and I managed to have a nice weekend. We even went to see “RED 2” on Saturday night. Not a bad movie, if you loved the first one you’ll at least like this one. We came home, had coffee, watched TV and I went to sleep with ‘Movie Theater Popcorn Tummy’…which is a horrible thing. I LOVE movie theater popcorn but it gives me gas an upset tummy like nothing else.🙂
Sunday we managed to cut the grass…woot-woot! It’s only been about 3 weeks on that one.
I wrote some. He played some game. I kept in touch with Cousin. All was well.
Monday night hubby had a ride after work. It started out as a bunch of people but ended up just being hubby and Rob. I wrote a little but mostly sacked out.
Hubby came home. I heard him pull in the driveway but it seemed to take an awfully long time for him to come up to the bedroom and when he did he had a strange look on his face. He turned the volume off on the TV, turned to me and said; “Donny’s dead.”
He got a phone call from Rob’s wife, Mandy, just as he put the bike away, she was in tears telling him that Donny was found dead and didn’t know how to tell her husband who was going to be crushed no matter how it was broken to him. Hubby said for her to tell him just the same way she’d told him; “Donny’s dead.”
Donny wasn’t a friend of mine but I knew him. He was kind of…off beat…in a lot of ways but he had a good heart and sweet soul. He was in his early 40s and leaves a son behind.
It’s a Small Tragedy.
It really is. I know hubby feels badly and Rob must be beside himself.
Lately, I’ve found myself reading the Obituaries. Isn’t that odd? Today hubby said to me that we’d reached ‘that age’ where we’d be going to more funerals than weddings and watching more passings than births.
No fun. Especially since I don’t have a grandchild yet. Not that I want to rush either of my daughters, that’s ok. Should I die without knowing the joys of grand parenthood that’s all right with me so long as they do it when they’re ready.
Still, might be fun to have a grandson to bounce on my knee before I depart this world. But….no hurries.
I feel a little guilty. Is that wrong? I don’t know. Cousin isn’t ‘old’ by any means. He can’t even collect Social Security yet…I don’t think. I would be absolutely devastated if something happened to him. He’s my ‘big brother’ of sorts for as long as I can remember. When I stack that up against someone like Donny who still had a long run ahead of him and a young(ish) son to enjoy, I wonder where the ‘fairness’ is in that. Who makes the decisions. How they do they come to those decisions.
The only solace is that Donny seems to have died rather peacefully in his sleep. He wasn’t murdered. Nothing horrible happened to him. It’s just that his ‘number was up’. That’s all.
He was a good musician and a gentle if off-beat soul. he will be missed by those who knew and loved him.
I want to leave you with a bit of advice from an Old Wise Woman…me. The night before the morning my father passed away, I left Nikki with my parents. I kissed my mother, told her I loved her, and, for whatever reason, left the house without doing the same for my father. I shut the front door and thought; Jesus! That was RUDE! Go back in there and tell him you love him! Give him a kiss!
The sense of urgency was phenomenal. Yet I ignored it. The ‘rational’ part of my brain soothed that desire with a quite whisper; He knows you love him. You’ll tell him again tomorrow.
Tomorrow came with a phone call telling me my father was dead.
Of ALL of the things I’ve ever said or not said or done or not done in my life I have only TWO regrets; not going back inside that night is definitely one of them. It’s haunted me all the rest of my days and will probably continue to do so. Just like that other regret, which we will not discuss here, but also ended in death for someone I held dear.
So….tell those you love that you love them. Tell them often. NEVER EVER leave any place without giving those you’re with and whom you love a hug, a kiss, and a whispered ‘I love you’.
You just never know when Tomorrow won’t come.