Thursday, June 11, 2009
Each house seems to naturally divide my life into the chapters of my story.
In Chapter One, I came home from the hospital in a Christmas stocking during one of the worst blizzards in Chicago's history. Coincidentally, my husband was also brought home from the hospital in a Christmas stocking-- I'm guessing that's unusual for two Jewish kids, no wonder we've evolved into such bad Jews.
Chapter Two, a temporary apartment in Florida, was short and uneventful. My only memory is of there being loads of nasty ducks outside; perhaps it's not a coincidence that I love to eat Donald with pancakes and hoisin sauce.
Chapter Three was the majority of my childhood (six to seventeen years old). We lived in a townhouse in South Florida. I had chicken pox there. I watched the coverage of Ronald Reagan's attempted assassination with my cousins who were visiting in that house. I had mono there. In high school I used to shut my bedroom door and talk on the phone until 2a.m. Then in ninth grade, my dad moved out... hence began Chapter Four.
About a year after my father got his own apartment I answered a phone call that would change everything.
"Hi, is your mom home?" her voice sounded restrained and nervous.
"No, who's calling?" I answered, feeling a pit in my stomach.
"It's the hospital, there's been an accident and your father's here."
"Is he okay?" I barely got the words out, he was obviously not okay.
"He's going to be alright," she responded. Clearly, he was not okay.
He'd been in a head-on collision. He'd been pried from the car with the jaws of life. He'd broken nearly every bone in his body. His teeth were knocked out. The internal bleeding lead to his spleen being removed.
The other driver was dead.
Posted by American in Sydney at Thursday, June 11, 2009