Receiving Bad News


Saturday was an unsettling day.

There I was at Photo Club, all pleased that a guest that I’d invited actually showed up.  Most of the time, the people I invite pretend that they’re interested in Photo Club just to get me to stop talking about it, and never show up to the meetings.

About half an hour into the meeting, my cell phone rang.  That was pretty exciting because my cell phone almost never rings.  I rushed to answer it, feeling very popular and important to have my phone ring. “Excuse me everyone, I must answer my phone.”

It was Darling Husband.

Darling Husband, who often stumbles over his words because of his ADHD (his thoughts go waaaay faster than he can speak), was stumbling over his words, but it wasn’t the normal ADHD stumble.

ME:  Hi!

DH:  Hey.  Um…well…uh… your dad called.

And right there, I feel a kick in my gut.  I quickly walked away from where Photo Club was sitting.

My parents call about twice a year, and even though their call is noted as a rare event, Darling Husband wouldn’t have interrupted Photo Club to announce it.

This can mean only one thing:  bad news.

DH:  Yeah…um…well…it’s your mother.

I hope you’ve not yet felt the physical reaction that words like that cause.  When you’re bracing yourself for Bad News, some sort of powerful chemical releases into your bloodstream, and you can actually feel it coursing through your veins, starting somewhere in your head or heart area and dripping it’s icky goo of misery down to your feet.

DH:  Well, she’s ok, sort of.  They had to take her to the hospital.  Last night she kept passing out and then started vomiting blood.

Oh, no, no, no!  At least it was not the Very Worst of News.  But still, those are some terrifying words.  Vomiting blood is simply Not Supposed To Happen, people.

Darling Husband gave me the number at the hospital and I called my mother.  As usual, she deflected all concern and fear with jokes about feeding the local clan of vampires with all the blood the doctors were drawing and how lovely everyone at the hospital was and what a good time she was having chatting with them, but something always happens to ruin a good party, like throwing up on everyone.  Unless you consider throwing up on everyone to be a good party.

She said they weren’t sure what it was, but the least horrible cause would be an ucler.  My mother would call after the tests were done.

After the phone calls, I went back to Photo Club and saw that the lesson was on composition.  Scott had brought in a bunch of lovely pictures that he’s taken as examples of good composition, and as much as I wanted to admire them, I couldn’t concentrate.  All those icky-goo chemicals were still in my veins and they needed to be released.

I went back to one of the classrooms and had myself a nice little cry, and felt much better when I was done.  Sure, I was still upset and concerned, but not immobilized, which is how I felt before crying.  Ever notice that sometimes when you cry, you notice the stupidest things?  The tissues in the classroom were pink, and I wondered how many tries it took in research and development to make sure that the pink dye wouldn’t stain people’s noses pink.

After Photo Club, Scott came to the house to visit with us, which was good and bad.  Good, because having a guest meant that I couldn’t mope around all day fretting about my mother.  Bad, because Scott reminds me a lot of my mother and so I ended up thinking about her all day anyway.

I kept a phone near me all day waiting for a call.  Finally around 6:00, we got the news—ulcers.  Shew!  Not good, but at least treatable.


Today is Christmas Eve and it snowed.  And not just a little bit of snow.  A LOT of snow.  Oh joy!

Here’s where I attempted an artsy shot of the bushes in my front yard lit by the Christmas lights.


Here’s a picture of Baby out playing in his first snow.


And here’s a picture of Boy10 at the Candlelight Christmas service at church.

All in all—a good day.

P.S.  My mother lives 2500 miles away, which is why I didn’t go to her as soon as I got the news.


6 thoughts on “Receiving Bad News

  1. I hope your Mom will be okay. I said a prayer for you all. I know how it feels to be so far away. My parents and DH parents live very far away from us. We dread getting The Bad News Calls. Ii is such a helpless feeling.

    On a merrier note, I hope you still have a wonderful Christmas Day.

  2. I hope things turn out well with your mother. I have stomach ulcers… they are quite painful at times, but they have never caused me to vomit blood. I can imagine that was quite scary! Praying for peace for you & for her healing.
    All three pictures are great! 🙂

    • My mother will not go to the doctor. She tried to convince my dad that if he would give her some time, she was sure she’d get better on her own. So, her ulcers were completely untreated and had probably been causing here problems for months, but she wouldn’t have admitted it to anyone. That’s prob. Why you’ve never had such a scary reaction–you are treating yours.

  3. Prayers for your Mom and the whole family. I sometimes hate the ringing of the phone. In the past 2 years I have really hated the ring. I know where your heart was at that moment. I remember my being in the very bottom of my foot.

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