“I’m still alive,” my eighty-seven-year-old mother’s voice croaked from my cell phone while I was in the car line at my daughter’s school.
“Why? What happened?” I asked anxiously.
“I had my throat procedure today.” That explained why her voice sounded so rough.
“Oh, that’s right. Sorry, I forgot.” Since I call my mom almost every day, I don’t always write down her appointments. “How did it go?”
“Oh, just fine. I didn’t know if I would survive, but I did.” Mom has been plagued with a chronic cough for as long as I can remember, and in the past few years, she’s been undergoing tests to determine the cause.
“Thank God you did!” I exclaimed. “Did that lady take you?” Mom’s test required general anesthesia, so she had arranged for a volunteer from Council on the Aging to drive her.
“She said she could drive me home, but she couldn’t take me to the hospital, and I called the Smiths [her neighbors], but they weren’t home.”
“So, what did you do?”
“I drove my car to the hospital, but I didn’t tell anyone,” Mom was speaking in a mischievous tone, so I knew I was about to hear about one of her exploits, “and that lady drove me home afterward.”
“But how did you get your car home?”
“I walked downtown. It was a beautiful day. A terrible storm was forecasted, but it was sunny the whole time I was walking. Then, as soon as I got under the shelter to wait for the bus, the wind picked up and rain started coming down in sheets. People were huddled under the roof trying to stay dry, but I was in the middle, so I didn’t get wet at all.”
“That was a miracle.” I pictured my mom walking the seven blocks from her house to the bus stop downtown. “Did you have an umbrella with you?”
“No, I didn’t need one,” Mom said matter-of-factly.
“Then you took the bus to your car?”
“Yes, the bus goes right to the hospital, so I got in my car and drove home.”
“Did you rest at home before you walked downtown to catch the bus?” I don’t know why I asked this question. She must have rested first.
“No, I knew if I relaxed I wouldn’t want to leave the house.”
“Oh, my goodness! You’re incredible.”
“Well, I felt fine. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have done it. I wouldn’t have put my life and the lives of others on the road in danger.”
Mom and I said goodbye when my daughter, Sarah, got out of school.
“You won’t believe Grandma Alice’s latest adventure,” I said when Sarah got in the car.
“Oh no. What?” Sarah asked.
I told her the whole story and like me, she thought it was both amazing and just like Grandma Alice. Then she said, “Today we were talking about grandparents in Spanish and we had to write a paragraph about them. I described Grandma Alice as atrevida (daring) and my teacher laughed like she didn’t believe me, but little does she know.”
“Yes, little does she know,” I agreed.