Get up and Go: Part 1

I'm never quite sure where to start a story -- the middle? the end? --- so I'll start it on the sofa of my mom's office which was once my childhood bedroom.

Out of an abundance of caution we stayed apart for 18 months, then cautiously came together after we were vaccinated.  The first time we saw each other was in May, the second time was the last week of July.  After days of cloud watching, snorkeling, reading and other quiet pursuits, I was ready to pack my kids up and drive back to Tallahassee.

I thought my mom was about to hug me goodbye but no, she told the kids and my dad that she needed to talk to me and brought me to her room and closed the door.

My stomach sank. I braced myself for what was coming.  The bad news, the other shoe to drop, something so horrible that it couldn't be discussed before now and so awful it couldn't wait until we talked on the phone after I got home.

She pulls my hands between hers and tells me that yesterday was so wonderful that she would be ok if it were her last day.  I start crying. I know something bad is coming, here it is, here it comes.

She tells me that my kids love each other very much and are delightful. I cry harder. She pull my chin up because I can't even look at her since I know the worst news is about to come, something unimaginably bad.  I want to run away but I'm cornered and held down by her love and concern.

Then she says it.

The kids are worried about you. I'm worried about you. You need to get help.

(continued)