Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The Stroke-Segment Five
The company wasn't the same anymore. Two bosses had died, Mel's Dad was gone, Mel's brother had gone on to a better job. Mel was thinking along these lines but couldn't bring himself to actually apply anywhere. One night his cousin who worked for a very large research institution was at our house. I ask him if they had any openings for Mel's line of work. He said yes in Buildings and Grounds. He said write a resume for him and write down everything he knows how to do. I didn't even have a typewriter so we sat at the table and I wrote everything we could think of that he had done. Can you imagine applying for a job after working at the same place for so many years? After having a devastating stroke? Mel with his handwritten resume applied. Only a few days and he was called for an interview. He came home with high hopes. More money, good benefits, no calls in the midde of the night and holidays, no working on Saturday except once a month he would have to go out twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday just to check the boilers and equipment. He got the job, we were both elated. This work place was like a small town. They had their own bank, cafeteria, photo lab etc. I wish I could remember how many acres this entailed. Deer roamed there and they did not allow hunting on the place. I loved going with him when he had to make a check of the buildings on his week-end. Peaceful reading or just thinking and watching for the deer. It usually didn't take long going from building to building. Most time things were running smoothly. He worked there long enough to be vested into his retirement plus one year. We had a taste of hog heaven, well it didn't take much to make us happy anyway. Then the boom fell. I was told I needed a historectomy (sp). I needed a second opinion. We drove across town to the medical center to get the second opinion and I was told surgery was not neccessary. I wanted to celebrate. We drove to our side of town to a steak house and had a nice meal. On the way home we were about to cross a busy street and Mel said I wish this traffic would hurry and move on I don't feel well. As the light changed and we started across I looked down for some reason and when I looked back up we were heading for the Sears parking lot. We went over the curb and sidewalk, sideswiped a Sears truck at the garage and I could see us heading for the building. I tried to get to the brake but it was my little Ford Fairlane sports coupe with the console in the middle and he had on cowboy boots. I was terrified and I just couldn't do it. I sat straight up and waited to hit the building but instead we hit a car parked and that stopped us. Mel came to himself just for a moment. He said I must have blacked out. He reached over and turned the engine off. I hadn't even thought of that. He blacked out never to know anything again. People had gathered in a circle but didn't know what to do I guess I jumped out and started bathing Mel's face with a baby wipe. A man came out throwing a fit. The car we hit he had borrowed. I felt so bad. Bad for Mel, bad for the man seeing the car smashed. Finally a firemen who was a few cars behind us and had seen the whole thing got there and started with emergency care. They wouldn't take him to the hospital near his doctor. They had to take him to one nearer. I wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance but they wouldn't let me. Odd feeling, nothing I could do. I will tell you one thing when I hear a siren I move over because I know someone's loved one is in that ambulance. When we got to the hospital they took me into a small room and the ambulance driver came through and patted me on the head and said a few words to me. I was beginning to realize things were not good, not good at all. A manager from a department at Sears that remembered me from when I worked there as a PBX operator called my son-in-law and Mel's brother. My oldest daughter was eight months pregnant with her first child and my youngest was living in Germany. Youngest and her family was flown home on a cargo plane. Mel lived four days but never knew any of us as far as we know. I need to stop now I'm getting a knot in my stomach and tears in my eyes. I didn't write this to make anyone feel sorry for me because I don't feel sorry for myself. I have much to be thankful for. One being that Mel didn't live as a vegetable because he always said he didn't want that. Back then if anyone had told me I would be living in a small town naming a cow Shelly Marie, dodging cactus thorns and cow patties. Excuse me now I must get back to my cushey (cushy) life.