Once you reach a certain point in life, the phone can’t ring at 11:00 at night unless it’s bad news.
Our phone rang at 11 last night, and it was bad news: the nursing home calling, Aunt Joan has a fever, they need my consent to take her to the emergency room. Well, yeah, of course! And then you wait for the phone to ring again.
First thing this morning, I called the hospital for an update: sit on hold for a while, and then they can’t tell you anything yet. For some reason my blood pressure begins to climb.
Half an hour later, another phone call: and, praise Our Father, now everything’s all right, the fever’s all gone, they’ll give her antibiotics and keep her a bit just to make sure, and then it all goes back to what passes for normal, these days. Well, I’d rather have her in the nursing home. She’s been there long enough for the staff to develop some commitment to her.
Until the next time the phone rings late at night…