Sunday, August 27, 2006

Four Wheels and a Prayer

TheHusband makes phone calls while I pack a suitcase. I don’t know what to bring. Jeans and sneakers to be at the house. Comfy clothes for late nights and early mornings. What to bring for the funeral? Will there be a funeral? Dad always said he didn’t want one, but would Mom be able to fulfill this request?

While I’m zipping here and there, throwing things in the suitcase then pulling them out again, TheHusband has made arrangements with his boss so he can drive me to my parents’ house. Or wherever it was I was going to find my mom that night. He has also made arrangements for someone to look in on Kitty (our cat). Who knows how long we’ll be gone?

It only takes an hour from the time we first get through to someone at the fire and the time we are on the road. It’s a good thing TheHusband is driving or I would be pedal to the metal, flying up the interstate. As it is I’m mental pushing TheHusband’s foot down on the accelerator (not that it does any good).

There is not much conversation; I am lost in thought as I stare into the fields. Soon it is too dark to see anything, and TheHusband asks what I’m thinking. It’s hard for me to explain, but I tell him I am thinking about Mom . . . and Dad. The officer had said they knew where in the house Dad was, but that the heat and smoke had been too bad to pull him out. They left them there and it made me angry. I tried to remember that he was already “gone” and that there were more lives at stake. His body wasn’t worth sending others into danger. But I also knew, even before I was told, that Mom wouldn’t leave before they pulled him from whatever was left of the house.

I prayed with all my heart and soul that she would either be convinced not to be there when he was brought out of the house or that Dad would not be burned too badly. “Please God, PLEASE do not let her last memory of him be all burned and disfigured.”

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