Hi, my name is the Crib Keeper. You may remember me from previous writings and long-winded fart jokes that have appeared on this very website. I’ve been absent from our realm of the absurd for a few days, but I assure you it was for a good cause.
No Mother In Law Jokes, Please
2:00am Sunday morning my Moms in law, aka Angry Baby’s granny, woke up and knew something was wrong. Her head was struck with an intense pain she’d never experienced before. She immediately drove herself to the emergency room, forgetting her glasses and cell phone in the process.
By the time she made it through the ER doors, she was conscious but incoherent. At 8:00am our brother, G$ received a call from the hospital. They found his business card in her wallet, saw he had the same last name and called asking if he happened to be her relative.
“Yes, I’m her son.”
She’s been here since 2:00am and isn’t able to answer any of our questions.
G let the hospital know he and his wife were on the way, hung up and dialed his big brother, Lover Fo Life.
8:02 L4L’s phone rang, as I heard his tone grow startled and serious, I sat up and listened to his half of the exchange.
“Room 519, I’ll be there. Getting dressed and on my way now.”
After he filled me in, I helped him hurry out of the house, as we kissed goodbye I begged him to keep me posted.
30 Minutes later L4L called: “She can’t remember her name (or anyone elses for that matter,) doesn’t know where she is and is completely out of it. They are about to wheel her in for an MRI Could you please get on the phone and let the family know?”
Relatives were called, updates were promised and prayers were requested. I called my own parents and asked them to come watch Angry Baby while I joined the family at Ma’s hospital bedside. As I waited for my folks to arrive, I focused on Angry Baby, her laugh and oblivion seemed to be the panacea for all that was swirling around my mind.
Slowly, the dark clouds of worry presented themselves in thought form.
“She doesn’t even know her own name, what if it was a massive stroke?”
Quick dip into The Crib Keeper’s Psyche: Strokes scare the f*ck out of me.
When I was 16 my Nana had a stroke at the Thanksgiving Dinner table, ironically, it was right after she said she was most thankful for her health.
Nana survived the stroke, but her life was greatly changed by the incident. From that Thanksgiving day until her death 5 years later, I watched Nana struggle with being trapped in her own mind. It was a slow death I wouldn’t wish on anyone (even J.Lo.)
All these years later, it looked like a stroke had once again f*cked with someone I loved, I began to cry. (HUGE, hysterical, Erica Kane sobs.)
This woman was not just my mother in law, she is so much more:
- She’s an incredible mother.
- She’s an even better granny.
- The most honest person I’ve ever met.
- She hates how loud I am.
- Didn’t understand the concept of Sarcasm until the early 00’s.
- She’s a fan. (It’s hilarious watching her discuss grouchymuffin posts with her friends.)
- She’s a well-known and respected businesswoman.
- Is the only person in the world who can rock Angry Baby to sleep.
- Was a total hoochie Mama in the 70’s and has no problem laughing when she recalls those days of yore.
- Last, but certainly not least, she’s my friend.
I’ll admit it, in the beginning she was a tough nut to crack, a real Chilly Mc Ice. My loud guffaws and hooker cleavage didn’t win her over upon our first meeting. But she didn’t dislike me either. Homegirl just didn’t get me, and I didn’t get her.
Of course, like all raving narcissists, I had an obsessive need for her to like me, so I hung in there and eventually, we became real-life, actual friends.
As her friend I wept hysterically, terrified about what life would look like if she were gone. As a wife, my heart broke for her sons, who lost their father 16 years ago to an equally swift illness. As a mother, the thought of Angry Baby growing up without her “granny,” someone who was already so important to her, nearly broke me. I fell on my bed and began to weep uncontrollably, snot and all.
If my mother in law had been with me at that moment, her advice would be short and simple:
“Stop wallowing, cry-baby.”
And my inner monologue Mother in Law was right. I had to gather my thoughts and get back to babywrangling. The best thing I could do for my MIL at that moment was cherish and love her grand baby. Until we had news, Angry Baby needed a present and sane mother, no meltdowns allowed.
I made my way back into Angry Baby’s playroom, she crawled in my lap when I sat down.
“Your granny is not doing so hot right now, I whimpered.” Angry Baby looked at me with her big blue marbles and said in a calm voice, “Okay, momma, ok.” Sometimes a 2-year-old has more perspective than their parent.
After days of bedside vigils and lots of Starbucks coffee, I’m pleased to announce that my mother in law is recovering. Her speech is almost back to normal, more importantly: she did not have a stroke.
The docs think one of two things happened:
1. She had spinal meningitis.
2. She had a migraine that triggered transient aphasia.
After a 5 day course of antibiotics she will be released on Friday morning, ready to get back to being an all-around badass and inspiration to many. We’re so grateful she’s going to be ok.
To celebrate, I’ve already planned an outing for Saturday Afternoon. The gals are going to go see the cinematic masterpiece, Magic Mike.
This morning as Angry Baby and I visited my MIL at the hospital, I explained my plans in detail…
“You need to go and hoot at some naked men on the movie screen. Doctor’s orders.”
She smiled, “Sounds like a good prescription.”