Monday, July 13, 2009

The Mercedes Cake

I know, I know, I need to write about inspirations for us children's writers. But, too much has been happening. Listen to this!

This past Christmas, my mom got really really sick. She is (or was) the healthiest person i knew. Onry and sassy. But, she picked up what seemed like a typical cold over this past Christmas. By mid January she was so sick she almost passed out in Target. By March, she was diagnosed as having a very sick liver and needing a transplant. My dad, sister Lori and I were all in the emergency room with her when her doctor told us. How does this happen? When you get the worst news of your life, the family just happens to have seen the signs before hand and gathers?

You could have hit us all with a brick and we wouldn't have noticed. My mom has always been the rock of our family keeping us together and taking care of us. I happened to be in the room with my dad when the doctor dropped this load. I went to fetch my sister (there were only 2 visitors at a time allowed) and we managed to get an exemption on the 2 visitor rule. With the news only minutes old, we started cutting up. Teasing mom about what she was going to put us through. We decided I would write a Lifetime Movie all about her liver transplant.

Now Mom has always had a thing for finding what actress everyone in her life, or strangers at the grocery store, resemble. Diane Lane would play her because she wants to look like her. She decided Dad would be Richard Gere (she's always had a thing) although he really looks like George Clooney, seriously. And, my sister, Lori and I would be played by Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Aniston, respectively, since Mom has told everyone in our town that we look like them. It's very embarassing to be compared constantly to someone who is very attractive when you don't really look like them. I still haven't written that movie.

In April, right before Easter, Mom got her transplant. She was top on the list at UVA. Scary because she was sick enough to get a liver within weeks of being diagnosed.

Mom has never thought she was all that attractive. She is though. But, she does know she has great hair. As she says, "It's my best quality". So, when she got the "call" to be at UVA as soon as she could, she made sure her hair looked great. Before the team of doctors wheeled her into the operating room, she sat up in her bed and tossed her hair to give it body. Then the doctor put one of those institutional hospital caps over it. She had a fit. "Don't smash the hair, please." She was only joking a little. The female doctor told her she'd try. "Well, it's my only good quality and I want to look good when I come out of surgery." The team laughed.

When they wheeled her from the elevator to intensive care, my family was there. It was 3:00 in the morning. Mom was in a drug induced sleep of course but we caught the doctors still laughing about her fussing over her hair.

My dad never left her. When Lori and I went back down to UVA to stay for a bit after taking a break to see our husbands and my kids, we realized my dad looked like he needed a good meal and a haircut. That he got. We tried to make Mom laugh but she was usually so hopped up on pain meds, something she has oddly never enjoyed, not to mention laughing hurt. And, her normally slender legs were literally the size of tree trunks making it hard for her to do anything. She didn't fuss too much about her hair. Unusual!

It was a strange few months. We all took care of her. Something she never before allowed us to do. Now, she's doing great. Still a worry wart and onry. More onry than before. Nothing has changed there.

Her birthday happened to be on the day of Lori's baby shower. So, I made her a cake. I had planned on putting a Mercedes sign in icing on it because Mom's scar resembles it. But, after the initial icing had been spread, the top layer of the stupid thing split. It split in the shape of a Mercedes sign!

We all joked that it was my grandmom either giving Mom a sign or helping me out. Since I was really busy with Lori's baby shower, Grandmom may have thought I could use a break. Grandmom is no longer with us. Atleast not in the typical living way.

I mused that we should sell it on ebay. Or maybe I should include this as the ending to the Lifetime Movie. We could call it, "Betty Crocker and the Liver Transplant"!

That night at my cousin's house for a family birthday dinner (it was his as well), he made a speech about how happy he was she was there to celebrate. He is her nephew and they have always been really close. He presented her with a picture of Robert Duvall, a local and certainly national celebrity. It had been signed to my mom. Mr. Duvall has been one of her very favotires. Mom has always thought the actor looked like her dad. Yet another movie star look a like. Maybe I should just title that Lifetime movie,"The Liver and the Movie Stars".

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful story! I'm so glad that your mother is all right. She sounds like quite a lady! (BTW, don't give up on writing that screen play for Lifetime.)