November 29th. Dense fog blurred my vision. The bright christmas lights, once so merry, were dimmed in constrained joy. A mist coated the light hairs that stood straight up on my arms. I didn’t feel the cold, yet I saw my breath coming out in harsh puffs. The stone steps were soaked, feet pruney. I felt my hair curling as I waited, waited, waited. Neighbors began to step outside, staying under their front stoop. Quick, loud, panicked sirens neared. A blazing red flash appeared at the top of the street. My eyes welled. I waved my arms, frantic to be unveiled. Pulling to the side, the ambulance squealed to a halt. I dashed up the steps into the brightly lit hall. .Neighbors doors began to close, privacy. A mere 15 feet into the house felt like a long stretch of treacherous hills. The stretcher caught on the steps. The futon was pushed out of the way. The file of life was handed over. Dashing to the medicine drawer I plucked the eight bottles.
Short tests were given, dad failed them all. Hushed whispers and pleas erupted from the corners of the living room. I sat down, reluctant to take my eyes off of him. Shuffling to the head paramedic, I answered the basic questions.
The cabinet, a dark wood with a glass door full of Christmas cheer was now the housing for all of the medications. All of the bottles lined up, a transparent, obnoxious orange. Unpronounceable names, botching them all.
Our quite large living room was spilling with people. Some paramedics filtered out into the hall or the family room. More wandered into the kitchen to scope out the extra meds. Two trucks were outside, full of the equipment. I could still see the brightly lit red fog peeking through the blinds.
First they tried the wheelchair, then the stretcher. He ended up at Reston, transferred to Fairfax. Nonetheless, he was at the hospital and being taken care of, something I could not do.