A Postmodern Widoe - Inadequate Language - Chapter One
June 18th, 2011 by annmarie
Zavier said good-bye to his daddy in his daddyâ€™s hospital bed.
Daddy said, â€śSay hello to Mickey Mouse for me.â€ť
â€śOkay,â€ť said Zav, and the pitter-patter of his feet could be heard slapping against the linoleum-floored hall as he ran, holding Uncle Mattâ€™s hand, on his way to catch a plane to Disneyland, to the land of simulations and distortions.
â€śSee you soon,â€ť Daddy said.
â€śOkay,â€ť said Zav, as he smiled for him one more time, pushed the buttons on his hospital bed, and made his daddy laugh with his make-believe pirateâ€™s face. Zavi reached up to him with his dimpled, three-year-old hands, pressed his cheeks and gave him a kiss on his living lips.
I remember my son’s last kiss to his daddy, but not mine.
Peter had become sick with the flu two weeks earlier. His antibodies, which were supposed to fight a virus, turned on his red blood cells instead. It could have been the medication he was taking for his heart, or maybe a flu bug picked up in Florida, or maybe a scorpion carrying the sting of a smitten siren. Who knows? His red blood cells were gobbled up all of a sudden and then they clotted, or so they say. Iâ€™ve asked many specialists in the field of blood, â€śWhat happened? Why did he just die like that in the hospital?â€ť
Â â€śWe donâ€™t know,â€ť was the other standard answer.
It was Tuesday when Zavi said goodbye at the hospital, without his daddy or his mama for his journey. We were all supposed to be together, but on Monday, while we were packing the car for our meandering holiday down the southern California coast, Peter had collapsed in the bathroom and crawled up to our bed, on our altarstage. He had called for me with a scratch of sand in his throat, a flutter in his heart, and tears in his eyes. I had called the ambulance.
When the paramedics arrived they seemed disappointed that they had been called to a house for an emergency that, according to them, wasnâ€™t an emergency. Ours wasnâ€™t a house either, or rather, it was a house, but it had been a church and we were about half way done in our reconstructing church to home project. Â Because our bed was on what had once been the altar, the medics didn’t have room on the floor for the gurney Â The lifted Peter two steps down the stage, or altar, depending on the mood.
Â The men in blue uniforms with golden badges said Peterâ€™s vitals werenâ€™t alarming and they werenâ€™t sure he needed to go to the hospital, but I insisted. I told them Peter had a history of arrhythmia and that heâ€™d been taking folic acid for three days for a very low count of red blood cells. I said we were meeting Peterâ€™s doctor at the hospital and that I didnâ€™t dare drive him there by myself because I was afraid he might pass outenroute.
The gurney was raised to meet our bed, and Peter was safely delivered to the hospital where we could â€śaggressivelyâ€ť begin looking into this blood problem that had just begun sucking his bloodsong.
The first blood doctor wasnâ€™t alarmed either, but we were alarmed, so we called in a new blood doctor. He was more alarmed. Even so, he said Peter could be out in a couple of days; after they transfused his blood and built up his red blood cells. My brother, Mark, was to be wed in San Diego on Saturday. We would meet up with everyone on Friday.
Instead, on Friday morning, in the wee-est of hours, Peter died.
When Zavi asks mommy why daddy died, I answer, â€śIt was his time.â€ť
Â â€śNo Mommy, why did daddy die?â€ť
â€śDaddy died because he got a bad flu bug in his blood. It made his body stop working. When your body stops working, you die.â€ť
â€śNo mommy, why did Daddy die?â€ť
â€śI donâ€™t know Zavi. I donâ€™t know.Â It must have been his time to die.â€ť