If you know anything about me, and if you're reading this - you should - you know that I am as sympathetic as they come. When someone I love, or care for deeply, hurts, I hurt.
Wednesday started out as any other day would - rush and hurry to get to daycare on time, make sure the dogs and cat are fed, make sure Emily has clothes on - that fit her constantly growing self - and the other "mundane" every day things a mom/wife takes care of. The only difference THIS Wednesday, was that we got a really late start. I don't remember now, in all the rush following, what it was the stopped us for so long - other than Emily dilly-dallying more than normal - either way, we were incredibly late.
Around 8:25am, I received a phone call from Mike. This isn't an abnormal occurrence, as he calls me every morning, to see how we 'made out' with leaving, and getting Emily to day care. The difference today, was palpable - he didn't even have to speak, and I knew there was something wrong, something terribly wrong. (forgive me, here, I'm still trying to find the right words.)
Me: "Yeaaah?" (the way I always answer when he calls .. it's a sarcastic thing we do .. seems silly now)
Mike: "John just had a seizure in the parking lot, he's not breathing, I think he's gone ... I don't know what's going on - or what to do, all I know is that I called Jackson, he's calling Hil, and I'm going to need a ride."
Time has literally stopped at this point, and my immediate response is ...
"Wait, what? John? As in John, John?"
"Yes, Johnny C. Amy I don't think he's going to make it - Jesus what do I do ..."
"Take a deep breath, calm down - and start over .. I'm driving here, I still have Emily with me, so I need you to start again --- What Happened?"
He begins to repeat what he had said before, this time a bit slower. I start to slowly process the words I'm hearing, and my brain kicks into action.
"OK, What do you need me to do? Who do you need me to call? Where do you need me to go? What do you need from me?"
To which I'm told, nothing - drop Emily off, Hilary is being notified, and I'll be called and updated as much as I can be. Like any normal girl, I call my mom - immediately upon hanging up with my husband, my first call is to my mom.
Me: "Hey, sorry to bother you, I really am so sorry to bother you - but I have, umm, sort of a question?"
Mom: "What's wrong?"
Me: "Um, Well, John collapsed in the parking lot at Eastern? And they don't know if he's going to make it. I need to know what to do."
Mom: "Why do you need to do anything, where's Mikey?"
Me: "Mikey said he'd need a ride, I don't know from where, or when ... and what do I do about Hilary?" (Editors Note: John is Hilary's brother) "Do I call and tell her that I'm available to watch her kids ... AM I available to watch her kids - what do I do?"
"Well, If Mikey can get his work truck here, he can take the van - that's done, now, you can absolutely call Hilary and offer to sit with the girls. But other than that, there isn't anything you can do."
After dropping Emily off at daycare, I called Hilary - she sounded calm, cool, and completely together ... I offered anything she needed and hung up. I then called Mike. Fighting tears, he told me they were "working on him now" (meaning John, of course) and that Mike was 'with' the ambulance. They were heading towards Frisbie Memorial Hospital, once they got him stable. It would be hours from this point, before I either heard anything, or before they even knew anything. Then, this is what I was told - around 7:15ish that night: