I’m about to grant another wish. Janice at Your Daily Dose wished for me to write-up a post based on a personal experience. The only catch was it has to be 100% true and can’t have any jokes. Does she not realize my defense against the world is humor? How will I deflect pain? This might be tough but I’ll do my best to keep the jokes down. She wanted it to be a true story because Janice is too nice to admit she thinks I’m a compulsive liar. Really though, a lot of silly things happen to me because I live in a cartoon world. I attempted to write-up one thing about loneliness but it was really sad and depressing and seemed like I was whining way too much. Instead I have decided to write about the one time I insist I saved a person’s life.
This story took place about 8 years ago. I had either just started driving or only had my learner’s permit. This is important to the story. Like in Breaking Bad when Ted slightly trips over the rug, it comes back to be very relevant. It was summer and I know this because I was home. Not that I was normally out during the other seasons but it was still light out and I had nowhere else to be.
Ever since I can remember my mom was always in and out of hospitals. It was always either because of kidney stones or depression. No matter how many therapist or psychiatrists she saw, no matter how many different medications she was on, no matter what strange treatment she underwent, she never got better. I was introduced to those daily pill boxes by her and would know what day of the week it was based on where the pills were. She had a gigantic flowered bag where she kept all her pills and I blame this on my hatred for flowered patterns.
(I’d rather look at an x-ray of my brain and see a tumor than have to see another flower pattern ever again)
I always associate the saddest moment in my life with visiting my mom on Easter Sunday at the hospital then getting in the car and my older sister playing Mad World, the most depressing song ever. I was probably 14 or 15 at the time and had my own things to be depressed about. Visiting your mother in what was basically a mental institution on the holiest of Christian holidays added to it.
I always knew sometimes when my mom would take her pills she would act loopy. On this particular day she seemed a little extra strange. She came upstairs from the room she spent most of her time in (the room formerly known as the messy room even though it was still quite messy) saying she wanted Rita’s Water Ice. My mom loved Rita’s Water Ice so this wasn’t strange. It was how she said. The way she looked at me let me know something was a little strange.
(Everyone enjoys Rita’s Water Ice! Even these what I am sure are upright citizens…)
I didn’t want any Rita’s because ice cream is better. Still though, my instincts started to tell me something. I can’t even describe the feeling because it was so long ago and I’ve never had the feeling before. My Spidey sense was tingling and I told my mom I wanted to go for the ride with her. Rita’s wasn’t very far away so it wouldn’t take too long.
We hopped into my mom’s van and she began driving down the street very emotionless. Our street wasn’t a busy one by any means safe enough when she swerved slightly back and forth each house we passed. It was when she almost drove into someone’s driveway instead of making a right turn that I told her to stop and pull over. She wasn’t sure why but I made her get out and switch seats with me. If she wanted Rita’s so bad I would have to drive her there.
To Rita’s we went and by this time I was just annoyed with her. I didn’t want to help her get her frozen treat, partly because I was in a bad mood and partly because I wanted to see if she could actually do it in the state she was in. She managed to get exactly what she wanted, whatever flavored Gelato that was. I tried asking her what was wrong and she never really had an answer. She felt fine.
It wasn’t long after this happened when my mom checked herself into AA or alcohol rehab. I’m not sure which programs she was in or when, I lost count. Everyone I’ve told about this made it seem like it was new big deal. It’s as if she didn’t have a problem. I would guess the mix between her pills and the alcohol is what made her behavior so strange but I’m not a doctor, just someone who goes with this most basic of instincts.
(Unlike Sharon Stone, my basic instincts do not involve flashing my privates)
A few years after this happened my mom called me up and told me how proud she was that I didn’t drink and that I wasn’t fat anymore. Not exactly my life intentions on making my parents proud but I’ll take it. This is a big reason why I don’t drink and watch what I eat. It’s not so much about making her proud as it is it’s something I should be proud of myself. It makes mistakes she made with her decision not for nothing.
I like to think this was some magical thing I did to save a life that was clearly in danger. I don’t know what to make of it. Chances are she wouldn’t have died because it was such a short easy drive but who knows? It’s at least good to know when someone I care about is in danger that I can see it immediately. My mom lived about 7 more years after this and although they weren’t her happiest years they were still years that she may not have had if I wasn’t able to know who my mother really was.