Friday, June 29, 2012

The Fragile, The Frail

           "My self keeps slipping away...right into Kage..."

...tried to save myself
but my self keeps slipping away...

~ Nine Inch Nails

I was up at the bright and ungodly hour of 6 am this morning to help my parents load up their cars. They were taking off for five days to Radium, a beautiful little town in the mountains of British Colombia, about a three hour drive from Calgary.

I helped my father get their kayaks onto each vehicle; no easy feat, as those bloody things are a lot heavier than they look. I decided to go in and brew some coffee, both to help me stay awake and so my parents would have something to drink on their long drive out west.

I was in the kitchen pouring coffee into travel mugs when I heard my dad open the front door. “Kage, I need you,” he called. “Quick.”

“Fucking kayaks,” I muttered to myself, but I slammed my feet into my runners and took off out the door, imagining a kayak on the driveway and my dad in a panic.

I clomped along the front lane, trying to cram my feet into my shoes as I went. I got to the gate and saw my mother lying on the pavement, my dad kneeling at her head.

“Shit!” I yelled and broke into a run. I dropped onto the pavement in front of my mum. “Mum. Mum! What happened? Can you hear me?”

My mother stared straight ahead, opening and closing her mouth like a fish out of water. Her glasses lay half a foot away on the pavement, cracked. Her head was lying directly on the driveway.

“Mum! Can you hear me?” I asked, peering into her face. Which should shake anyone out of a coma, since I didn’t bother to take off my makeup last night.

“Yes,” she finally gasped. I breathed a sigh of relief.

“Momma, did you hit your head?” I asked her.

“No,” she said after a moment, still gasping to catch her breath.

We went through the various parts of her body to see where she had landed, what had been injured. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing; I just remembered something about concussions and not letting someone go to sleep. Well, I was keeping this woman bloody awake, if I had to tell her I was pregnant with the Prime Minister’s baby to do so.

Eventually we ascertained that she had caught the toe of her shoe in the pavement and had twisted her back when she fell, bouncing off the back of Dad’s truck before she hit the concrete. She had scratched up her arm pretty badly but it wasn’t broken, and though she was already getting sore, we were able to get her up and into the house.

As Dad and I placed her gently on the couch, I couldn’t help but congratulate myself for my cool head in a crisis. Good thing I was so in control of my emotions, I thought proudly, good thing I didn’t really feel anything anymore and could be counted on in a tough situation; good thing I was so cold and hard inside, so far beyond succumbing to my emotions, good thing I was so -

Dad walked away to get some Tylenol, and I suddenly threw my arms around my mother and began to cry hysterically. “Mummy, oh god, Mummy,” I howled as I sobbed into her neck. “When I saw you on the pavement, I thought you were dead. I’m so glad you’re okay, Mummy. I’m so glad you’re okay. I’m so glad you’re okay. I'm so glad you're okay.” I kept repeating it over and over as I wept all over my mother’s shirt.

Poor mum. “There, there, Kage,” she said softly, patting my head and still trying to catch her breath. “I’m okay, honey. I’m okay. But could you please get off me? I can’t breath.”

“Oh,” I sniffed, and released my death grip upon her. “Right. Sorry.”

As I sat beside her and held her hand, I wondered, Where the fuck did that come from??? This woman and I fight like cats and dogs, we’re always at each other’s throats and I spend half the day avoiding her so we don’t have to fight. So what happened to my cool, emotionless heroism in the face of danger? What happened to “Good thing I don’t feel anything anymore", in-control-of-my-emotions Kage?

Good thing I’m such a bumbling fucking idiot, more like.

And good thing my mummy is okay.


  1. Glad she's okay! Now, make me a coffee too, damn it.

  2. I think you reacted very normally. You put on your feelings on hold until the crisis was resolved; once it was over, all the pent-up feelings came gushing out. Sportsmen do the same thing after the game is won. Glad to hear your mummy is OK. You'd be welcome to join my team for a jungle trek - I need a female who can keep her cool when the baboons go nuts.

  3. goodness, that must have been frightening. Sometimes we fight the most with the people that remind us the most of ourselves.

  4. Dr. Kenny,
    only if you fall on the pavement and make me think you're dead. i'm not a machine.

    baboon nuts? what?

  5. Josh,
    aw, goddamnit! that's a good point.

  6. I am glad your mum is fine :) I wouldn't react too well if I saw my mum lying on the ground like that. At first it was probably shock and adrenaline that stopped you just giving out yourself and when she was fine, the enormity of what happened hit you. My mum and her mum fought a lot, but they made up recently. I guess you realised just how fragile your mum really is, and you don't want her to go out at all, and definitely not with the relationship you currently have. Spend some time with her, she is your mum :)

  7. Wow, that's a scary moment and you handled it like a pro. Good girl! And as for the post-emergency show of emotion? Totally OK!! It was a release, a relief, and a thankful moment for your mum's not-so-tragic accident. My icy heart melts occasionally too, luckily it freezes back up pretty quick!

  8. holy hole in a doughnut batman, scary stuff though aint it? i was wondering as I read this 'did she have one of those superhuman strength things where beyond all odds she managed t lift her mummy bear to safety as k is only a slip of a girl?'
    I had a similar experience a while back and my ma told me to shut up as i was interfering with the emergency process....
    anyway happy ending!

  9. Mark,
    yeah, that pretty much hits the nail on the head :)

    exactly. thank god i've clammed right back up tho lol

  10. Danny,
    yeah, i feel rather badly that she ended up comforting me. i don't know where all that came from!

  11. So scary and I'm so glad that she is okay. Banged up is a much better alternative to anything else. I know that the floor dropped out from under me when my dad was diagnosed with cancer or when my mom fell and concussed herself and then coded when they injected her with shellfish based dye to scan her (she'd had no prior shellfish allergies before then). Parents are dear to us and the thought of losing one is not something I EVER want to have to entertain.

  12. It doesn't matter how you feel about each other. Mom is mom, that's just the way it is. everybody loves their momma!

  13. Oh, I don't know what I would do if something happened to my mother. We've just started to get along. Thankfully, both our mothers are okay. My mother takes a fall almost every day. The poor dear is so clumsy.

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  15. This is cute. Hope your mum is well.

  16. Ugh,sounds traumatic, at least she is ok.Sometimes difficult events can lead to people getting closer. When my uncle died, quite young, my family became closer. Well, we talk a bit more on gmail. lol.

  17. What did you say hellcat? To get your post removed. Young kage can say and write about anyone,even upset other peoples home life's. This she thinks is ok to do. But she can't take what she dishes out. The mintue someone has something to say about her she detetes it.

  18. This was heartfelt, comical and scary, all at the same time. I'm glad your mom is ok (she IS ok, right?). Did she go to the hospital? I MISS YOUUUUU!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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  20. my darling K, on friday morning (july 20th) I suffered a minor heart attack and a blood clot in my lungs that caused a stroke to the left side of my body. I spent all weekend at home relaxing and resting, as a result... the tissue around my heart is damaged, so the recovery time will be a bit longer. I just wanted to write you a personal message saying that I love you and will always care about you... no matter what happens. I tried leaving you messages when I got out of the hospital... but sorry to hear your phone was stolen. xoxox Paulie

  21. sending light and love to your mom

  22. You soft fart! Okay, I will let you off - it must have been a right shock seeing her lying there. You still made me laugh with your description of it - is that wrong?!

  23. Dear Anonymous,

    I did not remove any comments left by hellcat, or anyone else. So your snarky little comment isn't even true. I will, however, commend you on using your real name to say it...oh oooops, you didn't. Can YOU take what you dish out?

    P.S. Your punctuation and spelling are atrocious.

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