“Why did my mom have to be the first person I visited in the hospital?”
As she laid there, still sedated, memories started flooding into my racing and troubled mind.
A trip to the doctor for stitches in my hand from the neighbors’ dog…
Church camp camp fires and the smell and sounds of s’mores and bug spray and cool evenings
How was dad going to manage the farm and working?
How was mom going to be cared for?
My two siblings, Ron and Mindy, were married and living halfway across the state so they could not come back.
I was grateful for a light homework week and grateful for the understanding of my professors when I quickly checked in with them about my fast trip home.
As I sat there, I suddenly realized I needed to eat.
“Dad, I have got to eat.”
“Me too, A. Let’s go down to the cafeteria.”
Dad looked at me with surprise and a bit of concern as I piled my tray with food and commenced to eat it with the manners of a hungry lioness.
“Hungry?” he asked
I looked at him with salad hanging out of my mouth and then realized how I must have been acting.
“Uh,” came out and then I swallowed the dangling salad.
“Sorry, I have not really eaten since dinner yesterday evening.”
“What do you mean, ‘really eaten?'”
“Well, I eat a light breakfast, usually coffee, juice, and toast. Lunch is a salad and a pepsi, and dinner, is usually more salad.”
Meat was a staple on the dinner table in our home and while I did not shy away from a good burger at school, I saw what the food was doing to some of my classmates. “The Freshman fifteen” they called it when we started putting on weight.
“Dad, how are you going to manage?”
“Well, that’s a good question.”
“I mean, mom is going to be laid up for a while and you have got the planting to do.”
“I know but…”
“And then the chickens are going to need attention.”
“Yeah, and I…”
“And so I am thinking maybe I should quit school and move back home.”
Tears welled up in his eyes, cleared his throat and said,”
“Young lady… that is the stupidest thing I have heard today! Absolutely not!”
“No buts! Haven’t you heard of the FFA?”