Sep 22, 2007

Premonition (or why I haven't blogged for over a month)

The first time I sensed that I could sense something bad coming was in my childhood. I was 10. Summertime, I was at home with Mom, on a Sunday evening at our US Midwest, suburban home. Dad and my brother are out. Suddenly in the distance we hear an ambulance siren and I turn to my mother and without panic or any apparent intense feeling, "THAT siren is for Papa and George (my brother)". My mother did a double take but ignored my inconsiderate comment.

Sure enough, half an hour later we got a call from the nearest hospital, informing us that father and brother had been in an accident.

I remember two things vividly that night.

How my mother turned to me before we started off for the hospital and shook me by the shoulders, "Don't ever do that again. Ever!"

And how when we reached the emergency room the nurse asked Mom to present the private health insurance card, that guaranteed further medical attention for my Dad's severe injuries. While the "business transaction" was taking place, I stood staring at my father's bloodied and unconscious body in the emergency room and I knew that there was something deeply wrong about this. Don't get me wrong, the ER had attended the immediate health risks, but the hospital needed "proof" that we could pay for surgery and admittance. (Can't wait to see Michael Moore's "Sicko").

Brother and father got well (until the next car accident a year later). Yeah, I know. Good thing we had insurance.

I never uttered another "one-of-those-thoughts" aloud, adhering to my mother's command. Not that I don't get them.
I brush them off as "over-active" imagination because I'm afraid that like my mother, someone, will shake me by the shoulders and give me a look that I provoke bad things.

This summer, however, has been the most maddening, like a six-pack of bad-things-to-come.

mood brightenerThe fatigue of this summer hasn't helped at all. And them happy pills -everyone around me are popping- are looking mighty inviting.

Husband and I like to take our family vacation in early September, before schools start. [Tips for travelers: The weather is milder, accommodations are cheaper and the mass of foreign and local tourists dwindles down]. My workplace, however, had asked all employees to be back by August 25th "just in case elections come earlier". My work is directly connected with the Greek political scene; in fact, elections are my workplace's bread and butter. Indeed, on August 16th elections were proclaimed for September 16th. Everyone was requested to return to their posts, sun-tanned, relaxed and cranky how their last few vacation days were ruined. ((Ahhh, we Greeks. We have a genetic aversion to seeing the glass half full.))

I was one of the very few who hadn't taken any time off in a summer of sizzling heat waves, smoke filled skies and tainted oxygen from all the murdering fires in Greece, having a full work load and some heavy-duty personal issues:

The deteriorating health of my very beloved 80 year old in-laws, still trying to come to terms with my father's departure, my mother's subtle yet obvious depression, a close friend not dealing well with her divorce, and recently this week, my youngest daughter was diagnosed with endogenous asthma, after sleepless nights of suffering and crying in my arms, "Mommy, there's no fun in breathing anymore".
And I can't get that one particular "vision" I had at the start of summer out of my mind: Puffs of air, black and white.

Yes, I know, it could be my imagination.
Or not.