Monday, September 5, 2011

Rainy Days and Sundays

The Carpenters, I believe, had a song which contained a line about, "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down."

For me, it has become rainy Sundays.

One week after EG died, a Sunday morning about midnight, there was a knock at my door. I hadn't been sleeping, so I was awake, reading, or at least pretending to read.

When I asked who it was, my neighbor asked me, "Can you come out here, please?" I opened the door to find him in the front yard, Rocky next to him, and a handgun in Neighbor's hand.

Neighbor informed me that Rocky had been in his daughter's bedroom, and sure enough, our ladder was leaning against their house, the top of the ladder about six or eight feet below the window. I asked if daughter was hurt, and her dad said no. Rocky said, "Mom, I can explain."

I looked over at his bedroom window, which had been disassembled to allow him to get out, with a contraption made of tae kwon do belts to assist him back into the house. I went Mom-ballistic, telling him that I doubted any explanation could be sufficient for that and telling him to get that ladder and put it away and we would Talk About This Later.

Neighbor said, "No. Leave the ladder there."

He called the police, and I called my sister. Rocky went to the porch and sat down, and after telling me he had been going out his window to walk for hours to get tired enough to sleep and had really been sleeping maybe 2 hours a night, and that he got confused about which house was ours, and that he had been afraid of hurting himself, I decided that, no matter what else happened, he needed to go to the hospital for a psych evaluation. Then Rocky went into what I can only describe as a near-catatonic state.

The police officer asked me if Rocky took drugs. I explained that, given his birth mom's history, I doubted it, but my sister and I tossed his room anyway. Over the years, I have gotten skilled at room tossing, but generally it was candy or snacks I was looking for, not drugs. We checked the alcohol cupboard. Blessedly, we found nothing. The police officer then asked my sister if she thought Rocky was faking. She said no, she doubted it.

Gradually, the police were more gentle with us as they learned what had transpired the previous weekend. However, they asked Rocky to make a statement, which he said he could not do at that time, and they Mirandized him. One week to the day after I lose my husband, I am standing there listening to my son being read his rights.

I rode in the ambulance with the same EMTs as the previous week as Rocky was taken to the same ER where his father had been. Several of the nurses came up and spoke to me, remembering us from the prior Saturday and offering comfort. Eventually, a very calm, benign, warm physician's assistant came in to speak to Rocky, basically empathizing with him and giving him permission to feel so horrible and out of control. Within minutes of his visit, Rocky fell asleep and stayed out for four hours.

Early Sunday morning, in a cold rain, Rocky was transported to an adolescent psychiatric hospital. Of course, the ambulance broke down at the central interchange in Cleveland, and Rocky had to be shifted from one vehicle to another. Of course.

I made it home about noon on Sunday, and my sister told the girls to let me sleep a bit. It dumped rain all day, eventually flooding the back yard and overflowing the gutters. I got up in the early afternoon and heated some pasta someone had made, and the girls and I watched Bedtime for Bonzo, staring at the black and white movie rather than the shades of gray outside. I commented yesterday to Nita that this particular day was the worst day of my life. She said it was the second worst of hers--the worst was the day her daddy died. I realized then that I had the gift of the Saturday morning with her dad, running errands, doing mundane things, and discussing how happy we were with one another and our life together.

Yesterday was another gray rainy Sunday. We were going to go to the movies, but at $7.50 for matinee pricing, we decided that wasn't going to happen when we have Netflix here at home. So Rocky watched The Invisible Man and Dracula, Nita had a friend over, and Kiki did homework, while I cleaned up a little and read some of The Help. At the supper table, my strong-willed Nita brought up the scene where the victim succumbed to Dracula, even bending her head to expose her neck for him to bite. That led to a discussion about whether Dracula had such hypnotic powers to draw his victims in or whether these women were simply simpering ninnies.

After a debate about what we would watch that evening, I declared a moratorium on TV, as there was nothing on smarter than any of us. So, the kids sat around and bickered, and I intervened for a couple hours. We were all tremendously relieved when eight o'clock rolled around and we were able to head off to bed without making it look like we were sick.

So, I need to determine just what we can do on the long gray Sunday afternoons which are coming up this winter, something to distract us from the beckoning depression which would be all to easy to succumb to, much like the intense, unblinking stare from Dracula mesmerizes his victims.

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