I was trying to decide which pot of mums to bring to the hospital, somehow feeling my mother involved in the decision, when a hawk burst out of the wisteria and swooped past on its way north. Eye level. Ten feet away. A passerine in its clutches.

If I was looking for a sign, I could hardly have designed a better one (what if it had been flying to the left, she asks).

The well-practiced packing drills had gotten rusty. I ran up and down the stairs like a crazy person trying to remember everything: mouth guard, heating pad, etui, a jar to pee in (that’s new!)

My brother had a stroke yesterday. He managed to call 911 himself and is now in the ICU at the hospital in Stonybrook, Long Island, where he works. He comprehends things but cannot talk. He can’t move his right side.

I’m learning things, like the word hemorrhagic and the fact that once you have one stroke you’re more inclined to have another. Rehab can take 12 months but timetables vary widely.

His partner flew in from California last night. Friends coming from all directions. We’re on the Turnpike now, heading toward the Bridgeport Ferry. Rain spatters the windshield. Red and yellow trees abound after Worcester.

I guess I don’t need to point out how surreal it is to go from having groceries delivered to planning a stay in a hotel and visiting a hospital.

The alternative was unthinkable.

PS We were lucky to snag the Handsome Dog Walker (remember him?) to house sit and take care of Finn.

PPS A just the facts approach is helping me keep it together.

32 thoughts on “Mums

  1. Anonymous

    Oh Dee…..I send my thoughts, prayers, and wishes for a complete and fast recovery for your brother. I’ll hold you and K in my heart too.

  2. Marti

    Dear Dee, one thing after another but if anyone can deal with all of this, it is you. Holding healing thoughts for your dear brother. May the care he gave to others, return to him tenfold. You are going to where you need to be. Facts are how I deal with these types of things as well but then, in the quiet, after the initial shock, I let myself go, just a little, and lapsed Catholic though I am, I pray…as I’m doing now to surround you with love and strength, of which you have in abundance.

    1. deemallon

      Marti your words mean a lot. He has saved a lot of lives and taught generations of ER doctors. Definitely a “giver.” I pray to the Virgin at times like these which makes no sense as I also am a lapsed catholic.

  3. Nancy

    Dee, scanned this earlier today and have been thinking of you, your family, your brother. May all the good he has done come back to him now by way of love and healing. You are in my heart.
    PS I’m the opposite, first I fall apart a lot and get that energy out, before I can think straight. Not sure that’s as useful. 😉

  4. Nanette

    God wishes for your brother”s speedy healing……for all of you. (The ‘God’ wishes was a typo, but since the Dieties are being invoked, I left it)

  5. Tina

    I’m so sorry but what a Blessing that you will be able to see him .. spending some time together will be good medicine for both of you. Warm gentle hugs and a boatload of prayers.

  6. Rose

    So sorry for your brother’s sudden illness. Prayers for him and all your loved ones. Take care, am thinking of you. Rose

  7. Saskia van Herwaarden

    omg Dee, I am with you all the way…sending you love and strength and whatever else one needs in a situation like this….I have a brother too and love him to bits xxxxx


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