I thought the splintering of what encased my little world began on August 31, 2014. That morning, I called my brother Ramon to wish him a happy birthday. It was his 74th and I was prepared to tease him about being one year shy of three-quarters of a century old. I hadn't noticed it at the time, but the process of the destruction of the protective shield of my personal origins had begun two months earlier when I visited Puerto Rico to spend time with my Mom for her 93rd birthday.
But I digress...
Fifty plus years later, my nightmare would last almost two years. (I wrote about that time back in December of 2014, so I won't re-hash it again for it is too painful).
Ramon spent a lot of time with Mami in Puerto Rico after our Pops passed away in 2005. He traveled back and forth between NY and PR and when he wasn't there, one of my other siblings or I flew out to be with her so she wouldn't be alone so much. When Mom suffered her most devastating stroke in 2010, Ramon was in NY as we all were.
I remember I'd called her that morning as was my practice -- my sister phoned in the evenings and my younger brother called weekends -- but I got no answer that morning. I figured she was in the back yard or in the shower or doing something in her garden and didn't hear the phone ring. I decided to call her again once I got off the train and talk to her while I walked from the station to my office. Mind you, this was before NYC train stations were equipped for WiFi. In other words, if you called me while I was underground, I was unaware unless you left a message. I wouldn't even see a missed call message on my phone.
So, once I was above ground, I tried calling my mother's number again. More than an hour had passed since I tried the first time, but still, there was no answer.
Did she go shopping with someone?
Did she go to the post office?
I'll try again at lunchtime, I told myself.
Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the office to find a voicemail message from my cousin who lives in Puerto Rico a short distance from where my mother lived.
My cousin is very involved in local politics and has many connections. Apparently, he was at the hospital visiting someone when he ran into my mother's home attendant.
My Mom had been rushed to the hospital!
Little did I know then how much hurt and suffering I would endure in just a short few years; how much loss I would suffer.
Next: I'm So Confused and Hurt