The first time I drove all by myself, freedom overcame every cells of my then teenager body. What a feeling ! I was FREE !
I could drive to New-York, Mexico, Buenos Aires if I wanted. I had a car, barely any money to fill it up but who cares. I could go anywhere.
The whole wide world wide mine. (On this side of the Atlantic anyway.)
Time went by, of course. To the grocery store. To the daycare. To the park in the next little town my kiddo loves so much.
I drive though our little routine without thinking, sometime wishing I had the guts to drive pass my street, pass this small town and head to anywhere, once I’d said hello to New-York.
The Breathless Passenger
That morning, I’m just back from dropping kiddo to the daycare.
My mother-in-law calls. She can’t breath, she says. It’s the second time in a week.
That morning, she agrees to go to the hospital and ask if somebody could drive her to the hospital.
Her son doesn’t drive.
I rushed to the car. It’s a 30 minutes drive to get to her place, 15 minutes to get to the hospital. Without traffic.
Two hands on the wheel, I don’t understand a word of what they’re talking about on the radio. I struggled to NOT exceed the speed limits, NOT to call an ambulance anyway, NOT to yell every time I had to slow down.
I park the car right in front her building. She had to pause in the middle of the sidewalk.
In the passager seat, my mother-in-law is breathless but tries to hide it. Her usual rosie cheeks are closer to a soft grey, like old ashes.
She looks straight ahead, window wide open even it’s 40 degree Celsius out there and she thoroughly dislike heat wave (who does?).
I turn left instead of right.
I miss my chance for the green light.
I have to wait for people to cross the street, ever so slowly.
I want to cry.
And yet the bad jokes and small talk keep blurbing out of my mouth. And the breathless passenger keeps smiling.
Later that day, I drove back home. Through the traffic, through the bridge. That exit to New-York City cames right after.
Little did she know, my mother-in-law had had an heart attack, several days before. We got to the hospital just in time.
Her failing heart needs help, and that’s exactly what it’s gonna get. From the doctors first, then from us.
All our lives changed for good, once again. Gotta love it about life. Everything seemed figure out. But then – yeah, no. Sorry not sorry. As always, life is on a roll.
To the grocery store. To the daycare. To the clinic.
I smiled at the New-York City sign. I’ll go back there again one day… with the whole family.
Are we ever so far from there.
I guess it doesn’t hurt to hope.
Many words for many stories followed the first restless nights.
Back at my desk again, back looking at my kiddo’s pictures every now and then. I choose one from last Halloween, one from last Easter. You should see the excited-by-the-chocolate-perspective smiles.
From time to time though, my minds wanders back to our tomorrows. Faster than a blink, a gentle tremor of anxiety takes hold of me.
Breath in, breath out, I tell myself. And keep writing.
Dear fellow writers, I hope you’re safe and well.
May all the good words be with you!