Your dad said I was rambling, and I don’t associate good things with rambling. Crazy ladies ramble. Rivers, and fresh bodies of water gross me out with their murky bottoms and trout. I can go either way about the Allman Brothers; but I never clapped my hands in yee-haw when some ski-lodge cover band burst into “Ramblin’ Man.”
Yet there I was on the phone, rambling.
The pendulum has swung. As great as yesterday was today has been ape-shit bananas. Define ape-shit bananas? I’m sorry, I can’t.
I saw on television, and not just television, but smart television, National Geographic–and I’m not just saying that because that’s where your father works; ask him, he’s worked for other networks for years where I didn’t watch a thing. (You: You’re such an excellent supporter, Mom! Me: I know!)–that everything in our brains comes down to life or death.
We are hardwired for survival. In the old caveman days out there in the wild, everything we saw or encountered in a day came down to, is this a threat? Thanks to this innate mode of defense, we can freak the freak out over anything. Work. Car trouble. Kids. It’s not a matter of life or death, we might say to someone in such a state, calm down!, but oh, apparently it is.
I yelled at you guys, and then felt bad about yelling. I woke you up from your nap (when you had finally fallen asleep!) to hug you and tell you I was sorry. To say Mama always loves you, even when she’s mad. (Perhaps ape-shit bananas means stealing lines from Lifetime movies.) Minutes after I hugged you–and you looked at me like, ummm, okay, because oh yeah, you’re two and don’t register things like I’m sorry I was mad and wanted one thing from me, woman, where’s my bologna sandwich–I was mad all over again. I yelled because you clocked me, Baby Boy, right in the face. And for you, Baby Girl: It was not funny. IT’S NOT!
I was in it. This was a bad day…
Then my phone sounded.
I received a text from my cousin saying my aunt had had a heart attack. She was at a hospital nearby recovering from surgery she’d had this morning.
And then I remembered, everything is a matter of life and death. Life matters. Everything else doesn’t. Why it always takes the scare of bad news to see this, I don’t know.