Ongoing Stories of My Soul

Look over my shoulder as I ponder life.

“What is Your Emergency?” or How Pam and Debbie Spent Their Sunday Afternoon

Okay! So my best friend and I are having Sunday dinner with her mom. And since we have been best friends since we were fifteen years old, my mom was her mom and her mom is my mom. Get it? We still can recall one another’s phone numbers by heart: mine was 359-4451, and her family’s number was: 356-2138. Sometimes I don’t know where I leave off and my friend begins. Our Social Security numbers are the same except for the very last digit. This occurred when we both went together to the SS office to get cards prior to driver’s education.

But enough on that history. You gotta hear what mess we got into today.

Okay…my best friend, let’s just call her ‘Pam’, and her mom we will name her, ummm, ‘Carolyn’. Yep, that will work. So…my other mother, Carolyn, recently fell, so they have her wired with this fall alert button thingy. I guess I should read up on it, as I am getting pretty clumsy myself. But that’s a matter for another time.

I am sitting in Carolyn’s kitchen when all of a sudden a voice starts blasting into the room. It was all ‘urgent-like’ and serious. I knew that voice meant business. Must be the weather alert radio. I look out the window and say to ‘Pam’: “Well, I sure don’t see any storms. Do you think it’s a tornado warning?”

Instantly, Pam starts yelling at Carolyn! “Are you alright, mom?”

Is she alright? The storm isn’t even here yet. I go out to the back porch and check on Carolyn.

There she is. Pouring detergent and peering into the washing machine. Miss Carolyn is oblivious to the emergency-blasting voice, my reaction to the oncoming storm, and Pam’s panicky question.

“She’s doing laundry,” I respond, “I don’t think she hears you. What are you yelling about?”

“Life Alert! Life Alert is calling. They think mom has fallen. She must have hit the button on the washer.” Pam continues yelling at the Life Alert box. This is awkward.

“NO. No….everyone is okay. We don’t need an ambulance. Mom….what is your password?”

Carolyn comes out from the back porch and shrugs her shoulder. “I don’t know. Hal (her son) didn’t tell me.” Pam starts digging through some papers trying to locate the information. Pam is shouting at the Life Alert lady that she is indeed her daughter, and Carolyn is upright and fine and that the button got caught in the waistband of her pants and banged against the washing machine, setting it off.

Yeah. This could probably happen to anyone.

In the meantime, Carolyn is relatively unconcerned that in a matter of moments a parade of emergency vehicles are about to descend on her property. Soon, the Life Alert Lady asks for Carolyn’s date of birth. Bingo! That is the password! The Life Alert Lady has called off the Emergency Vehicles Parade. And we all settle down to process the last four minutes of our lives. And then we do what we always do: laugh.

But wait!!  I need some clarification! You mean that wasn’t the Weather Radio? There is no impending tornado? Pam just stares at me. I’ve seen that stare a bazillion times. She is looking at me in disbelief that I am so slow catching on to the events that have transpired. I know better than to restate my question. Yeah. I’ll just sit back down here and look out the window. Uh huh.

And think about why Pam and I are the Worst. Care-givers. Ever.

But I’ll tell ya right now….if that Life Alert Lady calls back and says there’s a storm coming, Carolyn and I are heading for the basement!