Over the years I’ve heard a handful of phrases that have rocked me to my core:
~Your Grandma Gordon has stomach cancer
~Your baby’s head is right THERE, do not push (This was said to me during a routine checkup for my firstborn who wasn’t due for another 6 weeks. Surprise!)
~Your daughter has a rare brain disorder
~Your father has cancer
and last week:
~We think Dad had a mild heart attack.
The message was delivered by my sister, Melissa, via voicemail. As I sat in a Girl Scout meeting and listened to her explain the situation on my cell phone, the shrieks of my daughter and her fellow scouts faded away. Missie’s voice was deliberately calm because apparently even though I am the oldest of five children I also have a reputation for overreacting. It’s not uncommon for my brother to tell me, “settle your crazy ass down.”
My sister swears she left everyone the same kind of slow gentle voice mail message, but I’m betting she’s a liar-face. She could just as easily have been talking to a child, small animal, or someone who was heavily medicated. I mean, it’s not like I fall out on the floor and start shouting, “Help me, Jesus,” like a guest on Jerry Springer, but I am prone to bouts of uncontrollable sobbing at the mention of illness or accident so in hindsight, that was probably a smart move on her part.