Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Drive

Yesterday, I awoke when the alarm went off at 6 a.m. as I do most school mornings, got dressed for work, and woke Taylor up. This is all pretty typical of a Monday morning in my household.  Yesterday, however, I drove Taylor to Anderson to start the MEPS portion of his enlistment instead of the two of us heading to our respective schools. We got lost because the recruiter had not given me a specific landmark, but we found it and Taylor was a minute late.  He hates to be late.  I went home, finished making a test, ran errands, went to school late, and taught half a day. Then, I interviewed rising juniors who want to take the Teacher  Cadets class nex year.  I left school around 5:30 not to head home but to the school board meeting where the board was deciding on position elimination before 500 or so district employees. When I sat down in my seat at the board meeting, it was 6 pm and I was exhausted. I had spent the last 12 hours constantly going - all while worrying about Taylor which wears on a body too. We were at the board meeting 2 hours before it became clear Donna needed to go. Donna, one of my closest friends, received a series of calls from her daughter who attends College of Charleston. Lauren was sick and needed to come home.  She wasn't getting better even though she had been in the infirmary getting fluids and medications a few times already.  Donna decided to drive to Charleston and back to get her sick child. Despite being bone weary from my day, I was going with her. She is my friend; she needed someone to keep her awake. How could I not go?

We left Easley at 9 pm. Taylor jokes that I hate to even leave the house after dark and try to be in my pajamas by 6.  Both statements are true.  Lauren needed to come home though so I ran home to change clothes to put on comfortable clothing that would look appropriate if I had to spend hours in an emergercy room in Charleston. Off we went. The first 3 and half hours down weren't that bad.  Donna and I have been friends since junior high. We can ride in comfortable silence; neither feels the need to rush to fill the gaps with words.  Last night, we were both exhausted and needed the words to act as a reason to stay awake. We talked about work.  We talked about the board meeting.  We chatted about this blog (which she does not read...). We talked in the way friends with history can. We arrived safely.

Lauren looks horrible.  This is not an overstatement.  Calling her elephant man would be an overstatement, but only slightly... Her face is swollen to the point where she can barely speak.  The area beneath her eyes has not simple bags, but huge jumbo pillows that almost totally eclipse her eyes. She had been vomiting for hours; she is dehydrated. Lauren climbed into the back seat of the car and went to sleep. Her mom was there; she was safe. We started home.

I was a little jealous at that moment. Taylor is enlisting, and though he will undoubtedly fall ill at some point during his service, I will not be allowed to drive to him to make it all better. I will cover in him in prayer, as I ask you all to do. His Heavenly Father will watch over him and keep him safe, but as a mom, I want to be able to get to him when he is sick like Donna did for Lauren. Taylor is called to serve, and in God's will is the safest place he can be. I know this. He does not need me to rescue him, but as his mom, I still want to be able to do so.

The trip home seemed remarkably long.  No one over the age of 40 needs to start a four hour drive after midnight. We talked and talked and talked. Not to communicate, but to force our brains to stay awake. My eyes wanted to close so badly but I managed to keep them open. Donna and I laughed over stupid things not because they were hilarious, but because we were exhausted. 22 hours after my alarm beeped to start the day, I arrived home. I would do it again. Any good friend would.

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