Sunday, June 1, 2014

Mom and Dad to the rescue

This time of year reminds me of two times that my parents had to "rescue" me.

I put the word in quotes because I wasn't in such dire straits as I made myself out to be.

The first episode happened earlier in the spring of 1974, when the cherry blossoms were out on the Vassar campus. I thought of this today when the weather turned from soggy to sunny and Maddie and I walked around Mount Holyoke, so beautiful with the trees in still in bloom.

Near the end of the spring semester at Vassar, I came down with a high fever and a terrible case of strep throat. After landing in the infirmary, I called my parents in tears and said they had to come. They rushed from New York City to Poughkeepsie, expecting, from the sound of my voice, to find me languishing in a dark room.

Instead, I was in a pleasant room with a view of the beautiful trees, being attended to by a nurse who was applying cold washcloths to my forehead. My mother really got a kick out of this episode, and she told it over and over.

It was around the same time of year when I was about to get my master's in journalism from Boston University. I had the inverse attitude of when I called from the infirmary: I said it was no big deal and they didn't need to come. But at the very last minute I had a change of heart...and they hopped on the shuttle to Boston, arriving just as I was getting my diploma. I could see them waving to me from the audience.

Of course my mother didn't need to be asked when she rushed to my side for the beginning of my chemotherapy some 10 years ago. My father would have done the same had he been alive.

People say I've been pretty stoical throughout the bad things that have happened to me. It's an interesting about-face for someone who was such a drama queen.

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