The Phone Call

I was driving to my dentist appointment when the phone rang.


My stepsister, Karen, got the words out right after hello. “Your dad is in the hospital.”


I blanked out for a moment and didn’t say a word in response. This was the moment I’d semi-prepared for and avoided thinking about since my mom passed away, if not before.


Not my dad.


I used to imagine getting the call, and every time I cried too hard to go on imagining. It’s like when you try to eek the pain out in little bits, rather than all at once in a gush. I thought if I role played the call enough, I wouldn’t be so devastated when I received it for real.


It doesn’t happen that way. I’m sure you know.


Karen went on, “He has fluid in his lungs. The doctors don’t know why. But he’s much better now.”


I spun out. Do I go to him? Is this nothing? Is it something? I walked to my dentist appointment. “I can’t come today,” I said in a zombie drone, “my dad is in the hospital.”


“Do you want to reschedule?” The receptionist called after me as I closed the door behind me.


I don’t know, I don’t know.


Then the shock.


My friend expected me at her house to show her how to make cheese potatoes. I showed up. Because I didn’t know where to go. She opened the door and I flung myself into her arms. I started chopping potatoes and she told me to call the hospital myself and ask to speak to a doctor.


I hadn’t even thought of it.


So I called…


It was a heart attack.


That’s what the doctor said, even though he told me he shouldn’t share those types of things over the phone. And then he told me to drive safe.


That was about three weeks ago.


I drove in a blur. I’m not sure I blinked my eyes.


Until now.


It all happens in ways you don’t expect.


{{This is for PROMPTuesday.}}


2 Responses to “The Phone Call”

  1. Mama Mary says:

    I know that blur. So glad your dad is on the mend! xo

  2. I remember a similar moment – though it was long distance, so getting there was more fraught. There’s nothing like getting a call like this. One second you are just going along with life and the next second your life is totally changed. So how is your dad – Mama Mary’s comment makes me feel good that he is getting better.

    It didn’t happen that way with mine, but it’s been a long time now.

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