Don't have an account? To participate in discussions consider signing up or signing in
facebook connect
Sign-up, its free! Close [x]

Benefits

  • okay Create lasting relationships with other like minded women.
  • okay Blogging, let your voice be heard!
  • okay Interact with other women through blogs,questions and groups.
  • okay Photo Album, upload your most recent vacation pictures.
  • okay Contests, Free weekly prize drawing.
  • okay Weekly Newsletter.


Right around Halloween, something occurred to me that I wasn't prepared for.  I'd been feeling out of sorts for days, watching the calendar more than I could ever remember doing, and generally just not being myself. Scott noticed my edginess, and even my friends (both online and off) made mention of it from time to time. And, since I was so caught up in the way I was feeling, it took me a while to step outside of myself and really get to the WHY of it all. Naturally, once I put my mind to it (much like anything else), I found the answer pretty quickly.

I was dreading the month of November.  

I was surprised, to be honest. I can't ever remember dreading an entire month.  I mean, sure... I've dreaded certain times of every month, but nothing more than a "here we go again" kind of dread. I've even dreaded certain times of the year, like the holidays when I'm broke, or warm weather when I'm too fat for my bathing suit! But not once in the history of me can I uncover a span of an entire, specific month that has left me so anxious.

Until now.

By all rights, November should be one of the happiest months for me!  First, there's the typical onset of cooler weather, which I absolutely love. Living in Texas, as much as I enjoy it, takes a toll on my sensitive skin with the high heat and thick humidity. Cooler temps, even if just in the 70's and even if just for a short period of time, are a welcome change that the month of November brings.

Then there's Thanksgiving, with all the foods I love to indulge myself in. And Scott's birthday, which sometimes even lands smack-dab on top of Thanksgiving. Plus, we got married on his birthday, which is yet another reason to celebrate. But, try as I might, I'm having a hard time generating much excitement for any of these things. And it's not that I don't still cherish these November memories, but they're overshadowed now, by darker memories of a November I haven't quite shaken free of.

A year ago this week, my son Jonathan was the star of his high school football team. I was working a job that sometimes prevented me from making every game, but I was absolutely at every one possible.   Fortunately, we lived directly across the street from our home stadium, so some days I was able to rush home for a quick shower (it was a dirty, physical job) and change of clothes, and still arrive just after the opening kick-off.

That was the case on this particular day a year ago. I'd had an exceptionally hard day at work and would have rather just crawled from the shower into bed, but Jonathan was counting on me to be there. The fact that Scott was video-taping the game wouldn't have been good enough, so strong were Jonathan's disappointments in those days.

So, as I quickly toweled off and combed my hair, my home phone rang (with no caller ID). I was annoyed because I was in a hurry, and very nearly didn't answer it at all. At the last minute though, before it would have been sent to voicemail, I snatched it up with a sharp "What?!".

"Hi, um... this is Lois, Erica's mom." Erica was one of Jonathan's best friends, and a cheerleader. Her mother and I had a passing acquaintance.

"Hey Lois.  Look, I'm kind of in a hurry. Jonathan's game has already started and I need..."

"That's why I'm calling," she interrupted. "Jonathan's been hurt and they've just called for an ambulance. I think you need to get over here." Later, when I revisited this phone call in my mind, I would imagine an accusation in her words. In the moment, however, all I heard was "Jonathan. Hurt. Ambulance."

"I'm on my way," I blurted and dropped the phone. I grabbed the shirt off of the bed that I'd intended to wear, the one that said "Jonathan's Mom" across the back, over his jersey number. I pulled on the shirt and shorts and my flip-flops and wandered blindly through the house to my car.

Although I could see the stadium from my driveway, my instincts were to take the car so I could follow the ambulance. Our small town didn't have a hospital to speak of, so it was likely we were headed to Houston. From a removed distance, my brain attempted to drown out the highlight reels of every sports injury that my emotions insisted on playing in my head.  "Find Scott," my brain encouraged as my mind's eye saw dozens of broken bones. "Find SCOTT," came louder as images of concussed men drifted into my vision. "FIND SCOTT!!!" came the command as broken backs and necks occurred to me. "Watch the road. Find Scott. Watch the Road. Find Scott."

I found Scott just outside the entrance to the parking lot. Our conversation only had to be brief, since our connection was so strong. The look on his face told me things were not well. His words told me "They've called Life Flight, honey, but only as a precaution. They said you can see him in the ambulance before he goes, but we have to hurry."

He led me onto the football field, and it was the single most surreal experience of my life. There was an ambulance in the middle of it; each of the teams had "taken a knee" in their respective end zones; and the stands were packed full, but mostly silent. I felt every eye on me as Scott and I walked across the field to the emergency vehicle that held my son.  In that moment it occurred to me that in my haste I had not put on a bra, and the black humor of it all was enough to threaten me with hysterical giggles.  I maintained control, however, and simply crossed my arms protectively over my chest.

The head coach, a very tall and very broad man, proved a brief obstacle. He hugged me immediately, squashing my elbows painfully against me, and assured me "He's going to be fine.  This is simply a precaution." I shook free of him, NEEDING to see my son and rapidly losing patience "simply a precaution".

At the open door of the ambulance, I almost lost it. My six foot tall, 275 pound son had never looked so small. He was strapped to a back board and was still in full uniform and pads; only the facemask from his helmet had been removed. I moved around to the side, near his head, and when he saw me he reached for me with one hand. "I'm okay, Mom. Please don't cry. I'm okay." I hadn't even known I was crying until he pointed it out.



  •  

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cindylouwho1966 wrote Nov 6, 2008
    • Heather, focus on the good that is happening THIS November. Jonathan just got his GED!! He’s gonna go into the military!! You and Scott have a thriving biz and can put (fast) food on your table and buy DVDs to your heart’s desire!! Please don’t relive the agony. This comes from your friend who was 4 hours away when her mom called to say, “They found cancer in my spine.” I lived thru 3 months of watching my mom die, and somehow I manage to reflect but not relive it every October since ‘05.



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marie Hempsey wrote Nov 6, 2008
    • Oh My Gosh!!!  I am in tears here. Gosh what is the rest of this story???



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Nov 6, 2008
    • oh my, i am sitting here in tears...so many emotions going on right now.

      i really need the rest...



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Nov 6, 2008
    • Heather, there are so many things going on right now with your son going into the service and all. You may be grieving the closing of a chapter in his life, high school, and the process of him becoming the fine young man he is. The memory of him hurt on the football field cuts into your soul but as a mom you must also be watching him grow with a mixture of pride and sadness. Lots of motherly emotions and all of them so very real and close to the surface. There’s nothing wrong with you, what you feel is absolutely normal.

      Best to you
      Cynthia



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Nov 6, 2008
    • ok then, just messaged her and then c cindylou’s reply. ok so, he is ok....

      you have no idea!!



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Nov 6, 2008
    • Lu, thank you, friend. I am reflecting, too. I’m exorcising it here, so I can get past it.

      ree, susie and tracy, yes, he’s okay. I had to pause here because it’s lengthy (and this is only the beginning), and I want to give each piece it’s due. I will get the next piece out asap, I promise.



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Darby wrote Nov 6, 2008
    • add me to the tears list. I am glad he is okay. It is good you are working through this to move past it and celebrate November as you have in the past.



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Merlot63 wrote Nov 6, 2008
    • I’m sitting here stunned.  I know the feeling of getting that dreaded call from school where they tell you “don’t worry, but...“. Your body’s autopilot taking over, trying to move every obstacle out of your way till you see your child, concentrating all your effort on just getting there as soon as possible.  But my ER visits always ended a few hours later at the latest.  What you went through is such a trauma both physically and mentally, that the fact that you have not yet shaken off that experience seems natural.  

      I’m so happy that he is OK!



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michelle Rowe wrote Nov 6, 2008
    • I get the same way a few times per year as anniversaries of the death of a loved one nears. I feel it coming on and then check the calendar-yep, it’s mother’s day, father’s day, my mom or dad’s birthday, their anniversary, etc. It’s like an internal clock. Weird.



            Report  Reply


About this author View Blog » 
author