Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sukie Olympia


My Dear Son:



The weekend promised to hold the record for the hottest day of the year. We'd just experienced a roller-coaster of events: the arduous decision-making behind purchasing our new vehicle on a budget, with which you greatly assisted, and, in fact, chose the perfect SUV. I was still basking in the sunlight of purchasing it when you fell ill with what we first determined was whooping cough. But the neurologic symptoms buffaloed us. Why were you experiencing such excruciating pain in your hands and feet? This illness had us worried, if not for one major reason: it was going on two weeks with a slow recovery. As the weekend approached, you were improving, but another visit to your family physician was in order for Monday.



Your dad and I, as equally disappointed as you that we were unable to make our family excursion to Austin (particularly given your interest in living and working there) were restless. On Saturday, we set out on our usual weekend routine: coffee at Starbucks, workout, gas and grocery shopping. We'd watched the opening ceremonies of the thirtieth Summer Olympic games in London with you the night before, which prompted me to download old favorites, movie theme songs like Chariots of Fire and Tubular Bells.

D
ad's day was starting with a tough spell, the digitally remixed Tubular Bells reminding him of pre-teen memories surrounding that movie. I had my own set of memories, as well. On tap for the rest of the weekend besides laundry and the mix was perhaps the Batman movie that we'd foregone the previous weekend, and maybe a swim. We both acknowledged that, at the moment, life left us feeling a little stale.



That was all about to change. As we turned onto the access road leading to Starbucks, I saw something terrifyingly familiar, though I'd only seen it once before, in Arkansas: a kitten thrown four feet up in the air behind a white SUV in front of us. Dad saw it, too. And in our side view mirrors we saw it crawling back toward to curb. “Oh, hon, we have to go back,” I said. My first inclination was for him to stop at the next drive, the entrance to the Marriott. But he chose to stay with traffic and make the loop around. It was a long three minutes. I could just see over the median as we raced back to make the last U-turn. The kitten was balled up against the curb. My heart sank. How would we ever make it in time?

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