FOREVER AGO

by Lisa

Forever ago, I hadn’t taken a college class since quitting to raise two and then three small people.  Forever ago, my best days ended with everyone’s laundry folded and in their own dressers and the floors clean and the dishes done and the everything dusted, but my side of the bedroom and my van were always a wrecked pile of mess.

I ran a pretty good show, forever ago.

Seven years is about the length of forever, so forever ago today, I had a couple of stents removed from my bile duct and my pancreas after a bad go at gallbladder surgery.  I spent the day before cleaning the house and cooking, so if I died, they would have enough clean clothes and frozen meals to last a little while.

I would rewind to the day before today seven years ago and spend the day before playing, not scrubbing.  I would have stayed awake until my then-husband was ready to fall asleep, even if I dozed upright on the couch, so that I would have gone to bed less alone and scared of the words “twilight state” that the surgeon used to describe my procedure. I would have reminded him that he had to drive me to the hospital really early in the morning and stay there until I could go home.

But I went to bed alone in a clean house with a freezer full of casseroles and bedrooms full of slightly bewildered, exhausted  small people who had done their best to help me fold and scrub and dust when we could have been working on that big muddy hole to China in the back yard instead. My then-husband didn’t have to miss a day of work, at his job that was in a precarious state of disappearing into the void of the recession. I found a ride to the hospital, the stents came out.  I didn’t remember anything from the terrible-sounding twilight state, and I came home able to consume and digest solid food.  The casseroles did not go to waste.

Thank goodness that was forever ago.

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