Thursday, May 7, 2009

What's your definition of tragic?

A few weeks ago, on a late Saturday afternoon, I was trying to take a nap so that I would be able to stay awake through the movie Hubby and I were planning to see on our "date".
About two minutes after falling asleep, the phone rang.  Since we were getting a sitter to be able to go out on this date I thought it was her having to cancel.  I considered this as the only option considering the only other phone calls we get are from my husband's family, which meant that a phone call that late would mean something was wrong given the time difference to the UK. 
I looked over at the phone to see the caller ID show the names of my parents. 
After last summer, I assumed I would either never hear from them again or, at the most, hear when one or the other had died - either way, I didn't care.  So you can just imagine my surprise.  Hubby was shocked too.  In fact we were so shocked, neither one of us wanted to answer the phone.  So we let the machine get it.  No message was left.  I wasn't able to fall asleep again after that.
About an hour later the phone rang again - at the exact moment our sitter was ringing the doorbell to relieve us of our parental duties for the evening.  The caller ID showed the names of my parents again.  Since I didn't feel like being admonished for being a horrible daughter right before our night out, we decided to let the machine get it.  This time a message was left.  It was the Doormat.
He said that he had something to say to me.  That I shouldn't worry, it wasn't anything tragic.  He'd be up until 10pm his time if I chose to return the call.
We went for our night out and had a good time, but a lot of the talk centered around the message.  Like, what did he mean by "it's nothing tragic"?  Also, was I even going to call him back?  Personally, I didn't feel like putting myself in a position where I would feel compelled to forgive either of them for what happened, nor did I want to put myself in a position where I would start having a relationship with them again only to have the same shit happen again in a few years - I can't go through this again.  Additionally, I didn't feel like calling and getting the Witch on the phone by accident.  Finally, I didn't want to listen to reason after reason of why I'm a horrible person and substandard daughter.
I thought about what I was going to do for a little over a week, if I was even going to do anything.  Instead of calling, I sent an email.  In it I told him that if there was something that he needed to say to me, email was best.  This way I could either read it or not.  If I wanted, I could have Hubby read it first to see if the Doormat was going to rip me a new one.
A few days later I received a response from the Doormat.  It turns out that the something he wanted to say to me was this:
I've thought about it, and I thought you should know that [the Witch] had a stroke about a month ago.  She's completely paralyzed down her right side and can't speak at all....yada yada.
My first thought was that she had gotten what she had deserved - after all, karma's a bitch.  I realize that makes me sound like a horrible person.  But then I realized I didn't wish harm on her, at least not physical.  Not only that, but I don't think I wished harm on the Doormat, I was just disappointed in him.  Now he's saddled with dealing with this all on his own.  I don't want that, and I don't think he can do it.  Not only is his health not the greatest, but he is in no position to be lifting and moving an invalid around their three story house by himself and I don't think he's the type to hire help.  However, since I'm not speaking to him I don't think it's my place to say anything about my concerns.  So, I sent an email empathizing with his situation and telling him to let me know if there was anything I could do to help.
However, I still want to know, what do you think is his definition of tragic?  The dictionary defines tragic as "very sad; especially involving grief or death or destruction;".  Would you not classify what happened to the only person in your life you should love more than yourself as tragic?  It makes me wonder whether he was hoping for something to happen to release him from her, or if he just chose the wrong word. 
Knowing him though, he knew exactly what word he was using and it's intended meaning.
And now I wait.  I'll either hear back from him soon asking for assistance, or I won't hear anything until after the funeral. 
Knowing the Doormat, it will be the latter.

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