Oh sure, I’ve stopped at the side of the road a couple of times.
And now that I remember, I actually pulled to the side of the road on my move down here to Cleveland, but I didn’t stay there long. It was something about the trucks whizzing by and the fact that I had stopped my car right on an overpass, with trucks whizzing below me as well.
I took a leap of faith and left this precarious perch and continued on — in the rain, of course. In the pouring rain someplace just north of Nashville, rather than be a sitting duck.
I was not happy then.
I wasn’t happy Friday either.
I had left work a little late.
It had started to rain and I wanted to rush home just in case it was going to get rough.
Boy, no truer words!
I wanted to get home so I could watch the national news. I always try to watch the national news. Even though I get Associated Press updates all day long, it’s just not the same as sitting down with dinner and watching Peter Jennings. No, wait, he died. From lung cancer, I believe. At age 67.
My cousin has lung cancer. She is 69. I don’t think she has long left. It must be indescribable to be in such a situation. As I go about my day and complain about what I am going to write about here, I forget my cousin is probably going to die soon. I hate to put it that way. But that’s what I was told. She made her own funeral arrangements already. What must that be like. Her situation is one of the reasons I finally completed making my own will. It’s a strange process. I wonder how my cousin reacts to minor twists of fate now — at this stage in her life. I wonder what is going through her mind. What she is thinking about. If she could end it differently, suddenly, rather than knowing she is going to die.
Everyone is afraid to ask. Everyone is cautious not to bring up the “wrong” — I guess that’s the word, not sure — subject.
I don’t know exactly what is going through my mind about my cousin either. I can’t get a grasp on it all.
Sorry. My thoughts extrapolated for a sec and I took a little detour there.
It’s Brian Williams now, I believe. The news anchor I watch now. Different station from Jennings’, however. I’m continuing on with my reason for hurrying on a recent Friday evening. Yep, I now watch Williams who is now delivering the evening national news that I like to watch as often as I can, as much as I can.
Again, getting back to the main point, as for me, right here in Cleveland, on Friday the 10th, I wasn’t a happy camper, as they say.
I drove through an ever-worsening thunderstorm. After what felt like an eternity, as the rain and storms and thunder and lightning kept getting worse, and I slowly creaked along the two-lane, winding road to my apartment, I felt such relief. Such relief when I finally found myself safe and sound in my driveway.
I finally reached my destination about 10 feet outside of my apartment door, but I couldn’t get there from here, as they say in Maine.
(Yep, in Maine, they actually answer folks’ question of “How do I get to so and so?” with “It’s just up the road, but you can’t get there from here ... Ay ah.” Well, it really works much better with a Maine accent, which is kinda like a Boston accent, but with more of a bit of a twang.
Anyway, I was stuck. In my car, not in Maine. I was just feet from my front door and dinner, the news, a comfy sofa, and I couldn’t get to them. I was stuck. I have never had anything like that happen before. It was weird.
But I just couldn’t get out of the car.
The lightning was lighting up the sky, even though it was still light out. The thunder grew ever close — one Mississippi, two Mississippi — and crash. The sound of thunder and I knew it was getting close.
I searched the radio dial for any weather reports I could find — first using the set radio stations and then just search across the board. I would go from one station to another, frustrated that few seemed to know the world was coming to an end, and I was caught out in the middle of it.
It left much time to think, amidst the nervousness and frustration.
Now, being in a car is safe, right? I perused my fragile memory. Or do I remember hearing that that’s just an old wives’ tail? That the rubber tires on a car do NOT protect you from getting electrocuted if struck by lightning in a car.
I couldn’t remember. I couldn’t decide which was right. And, I didn’t have a computer or a smart phone to Google for the correct info. I just didn’t know. I was getting more and more concerned.
Then the station I was listening to for the latest in weather watches did the unthinkable.
It suddenly wasn’t on the air any longer. It wasn’t broadcasting any longer. My lifeline didn’t exist no more! I was alone in the midst of a veritable crowd. I was left to my own devices, and my devices just went off the air.
And, left to my own devices, I had plenty of time to think amidst panic attacks. That’s when my thoughts turned toward my cousin, the one with lung cancer. I wonder if that’s how she feels, left alone, adrift, left to her own devices. Unsure of what will happen next.
I sure didn’t like the feeling.
I don’t know how she manages.
But she seems to be continuing on with life.
She went to her son’s wedding shower/housewarming party the other day, my mom told me. She has eight kids, all told. This particular son is No. 5 or 6, I think. She was quiet at the party. She really didn’t have to say or do much, just kinda sit and watch the chaos unfold. I did tell you she has eight kids who have their own significant others and their kids. Her kids invited friends. And, don’t forget the other parents and other miscellaneous relatives, like my mom.
The house was pretty full.
My cousin told everyone she “felt OK today.” Not so much the night before. She is hoping to make it to her son’s wedding in October. That’s partially why they had this shower now, you know, just in case ...
Everyone keeps hoping.