My Little Old Polish Angel (Part 2)

Posted: April 27, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

“You okay?” the accented voice asked me.
I stared blankly at this elder lady. Not your average over the hill looking old lady. You could tell she was a lady who had grits. Tough looking but put together in her slacks and blouse. Her hair disheveled from sleeping on the couch, shoes on the floor. The type of old lady that would walk pass you while carrying a gallon of water in each hand and not even break a sweat. I assessed her, not even knowing why. I automatically responded, minding my manners “Yes, I’m fine” even though I was far from it.
“Good” she replied with approval in her voice. “What is thee time?” she asked me.
“I don’t know. My cell phone is dying” I said failing to keep the bitterness from my voice.

I had to turn it off during the ambulance ride. The mother-in-law-to-be calling me non-stop wasn’t helping.
“Call me collect”- she said.
“Doesn’t help my dying battery.” I said back, my voice so thick with contempt it might as well be syrup.
“Why don’t you have your charger?” she asked. Well gee, I barely had time to grab a bra yet alone my purse with the chaos of everything. I was little preoccupied with concern and worry, I’m lucky I remembered to grab Omar’s wallet at all.  I was relieved I had an excuse to not answer calls. My phone was turned off and tucked into my coat pocket.

“Sleep now” the older woman instructed me while lowering herself back down to the couch. Incredulously, I leaned back in the recliner chair I was sitting in and hunched my shoulders, burying myself in the fluff and puff of the fur of my winter jacket. Wishing and missing the warmth of Omar, tears burned my eyes but didn’t escape. I closed my eyes and tried to slow my mind, the disbelief. And unbelievably I slept. Not long and not much but I slept.  Later, I was thankful for it.  I would awake every 10 minutes scared and not knowing where I was. It took a moment for my mind to process what happened and where I was. Then I would hear loud snoring from the lady on the couch. It was oddly reassuring. And I would shut my eyes again. After 40 minutes or so, she randomly awoke and asked me, “Why is you here. Who’s sick.”
“My boyfriend” I said voice catching and cracking.  I hated to say boyfriend or fiancée because it just doesn’t express how much he means to me.
“Age?” she said struggling to find the English words.
“Young” was all I said and she nodding in understanding.
“What is thee problem” her polish accent becoming heavier and heavier with each question.
“They found a mass in his head.” I said, barely able to admit the words to myself or look her in the eyes. To admit the truth was admitting this was real. That it was happening. But oddly, my hysteria sedated just a bit, to manageable levels with this admission. Knowingly, the lady started nodding. She leaned back into the couch and said , “No worry, they fix, yes”.
“But they don’t know what it is!” I angrily and hurried responded on the verge of getting worked up, struggling with the hysteria.
“They fix, yes” She said again as if I never spoken.
Slouching in the recliner chair, “I hope” I stuttered staring at the doorway hoping someone will appear and tell me I can see him.
“No, they FIX.” She said yet again. “No worry.” her broken English and accented voice taking on a sternness said to me.
I nodded, unable to say more, but, my mind needed the stern direction.
“They come for you soon?” She asked.
“That’s what they said” I admitted to her, finally looking her in the eyes again.
“My husband, they fix his heart, the machine” she said and tapped her fingers over her own heart. She looked at me questioningly to see if I understood. Pacemaker my mind supplied. I nodded to express my understanding. “They fix. He better now. But I sleep here.” She looked me over contemplating and then coming to a decision said “to be close”. I gave her a sad smile. She assessed me. She paused to think if I would grasp the last part and she knew I would understand, the want, the need to be close.  I nodded to show my appreciation for the belief of my understanding. But hurt flooded my heart. Would Omar survive the day yet alone reach old age?
“Sleep now.” She said and stared at me steadily. “Me, sleep no more”. And somehow, I felt reassured. I felt comforted. As if commanded, my eyes became heavy and my head dropped to my chest and I eased into sleep. My mind, my heart, needed that to protect itself from the shock, the insult of emotions. I don’t know how long I slept. Not long. But it felt like an eternity. I woke a little bit later to an empty waiting room.  I shot up and went to the doorway. I saw the old lady down the hall and she shuffled over to me.
“Did anyone come from me?” I asked slightly panicked.
“No. Come.” She said and turned around and started back down the hall. I hastily grabbed my bags and hurry after her. She walked into a ward directly up to the desk and turned to me and said “Ask”.
Fumbling with my words, I gave Omar’s name. I later appreciated the fact, she didn’t ask for me, speak on my behalf. She kicked started me into being assertive which I would need lots of in the days, weeks, to come. I appreciated that fact, that push into being an adult, more than my words can express. I don’t know how I would of handled things, how I would of faired without her that late night/early morning.  She was my little old polish angel. And I think about her to this day.
“You’re in the wrong ward deer. Down the hall, the neurosurgical intensive care ward. Room 13. Ask the desk there” the nurse at the desk informed me.
I look at the elder polish lady and she nodded. “Go”
And off I went, in search for my fiancée.

  1. Crystal R. says:

    I love this Polish woman. For real. Definitely your angel!


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