Well this has been an eventful two weeks and the first time I’ve sat down at the computer, although I had big plans to write every day and make some deadlines. I think Cutbank may be a little stuffy for me. “Sniff, sniff”
Next time when I write my bio for them it should run like this : Kim Storment recently graduated with an MFA in “Life, the Long way around,” with a minor in backpacking, child rearing and Greyhound bus travel. She can be found west of the Continental Divide balancing an impressive amount of plates on her arm or at the school bus stop in her Hello Kitty pajamas. She is currently working on her chapbook, Poems Lost in the Bathroom and paid all her student loans last year, suckers.
I did get my Erma Bombeck entry in on time. (Yay!) and by the grace of God and my Mom, I was able to fly to Syracuse to be with my family as my Dad underwent some intense heart surgery. He’s such a tough guy. He had a massive heart attack on Valentine’s Day and my Mom was in Florida vacationing when she got the call to get home. My Mom is one of those rare creatures who find airports delightful. She once told me that she could spend days at an airport just people watching. Ergo, she will volunteer her seat in order to score free plane tickets. Obviously, she didn’t bump on her way home although she confided to me that she did have plans to bump on every connection because it was Winter Break in Florida. She’s a smart, Irish cookie.
So the next day of Dad’s internment my brother Joe calls and reassured me that he is ok. Being so far away I often get a bit emotional,( hysterical ) but the sound of my brother Jeff bellowing in the background, “He took a crap and ate two dinners!” eased my mind considerably. Also the fact that Dad had lied to Mom about the results of his cardiologist appointment in November, prompted her to mutter “When he gets home , I’m gonna kill him, myself.” Yes, I was relieved when I heard that too. They have been married for 44 years, and raised 4 kids, no illusions. They could not be more different from the sun and the moon but held it together when people were divorcing left and right. In fact, that day, Dad told Mom, ” You better keep working,” as he was watching the Syracuse game and eating his lunch and telling everyone how much he likes spinach. He’s lucky he didn’t have prong marks in his forehead.
No one was more surprised than I, when Joe called Friday morning and said, “Catch the next flight out, it’s not looking too great, he has to have emergency surgery.” It was 7 am and I was in a fog, getting the kids ready for school and trying to arrange childcare. If not for my neighbors and good friends stepping up to the challenge at the last minute I would have been a basket case, or more of one. Definitely, God was working miracles all over as I ran around my house like a chicken with my head cut off- looking up flights, writing notes and phone numbers, cancelling appointments and doing the dishes. ( I know, really?) Kim and Beth, there is nothing in this world that can convey the gratitude and esteem I hold the two of you! Not only did you take care of my children at the last-minute, but you chauffeured them to all their events and sent me pictures every nite. Bless you.
The phone rang again, my brother Billy, my exact opposite and probably the most strained relationship out of all three brothers. After all, I was the Queen bee for a short 13 months before he was born so I stole his ice cream for the next five years and while he got caught doing the right thing most of the time, I just plain got caught every time. Billy gave me the update to which I promptly bitched ” I wish I knew sooner, I could have caught the eight o’clock flight.” ( If I lived in the Pacific and had wings.) To his credit, all he said was ” We just found out ourselves!” Billy ended up saving the day. Fortunately, he has been snowplowing the best heart surgeon’s driveway for a number of years, so he texted him and this kind, humble and considerate man came in on a Saturday morning to operate on my father and has been at the ICU every morning monitoring his progress for the last 13 days. Miracle #4 . More to come ….