Yesterday was my birthday. I know, I know. Happy Birthday to me. But this post isn’t about how old I’m getting (hallelujah!). It’s about the most bizarre and disturbing experience I’ve had…ever, I think.
I was picking my kids up from my MIL’s house when they informed me I wasn’t allowed inside yet. They were still preparing my “surprise” party. So I stood outside and held Zack, swaying him back and forth while singing in his ear.
It was then that this old man approached us and started talking. I couldn’t understand what he was saying at first; it was obvious that he had a senility thing going on. I just assumed he was telling me how adorable my son is, because, well, he is. See?
But that’s not what he was trying to say at all. He began speaking with more urgency, and after this awkward moment where he told me I needed to call the duck, he found his words and began terrifying me beyond belief.
This is where I need to stop, mid-story, and explain how utterly Panic-Happy I am. Yes, Panic-Happy is a condition and I have it. If I, in one weak moment, can imagine something bad happening, I make it my divine responsibility to start worrying about the possibility of the bad thing happening. For example, Zack has been having headaches lately. Perhaps four in the last 6 weeks—not a huge amount, but enough to get this Worse-Case Scenario Mama on task. I’ve imagined all the horrible things that might be causing aforementioned headaches. I won’t list them here because typing them out may cause me to hyperventilate and pass out before completing this post. On with the story…
By that time my MIL had come outside and was trying to help me end the conversation with the crazy man. Come to find out he didn’t want me to call a duck; he was insisting I call a doctor, because, he informed me, Zack was dying. And he didn’t stop insisting. He had remembered all the words necessary to tell me, over and over again, that God had informed him my son would die unless I got him to a doctor, immediately. He followed me into the house and my MIL called the police.
This is where I must interrupt, yet again, to say that this is the point at which I began to have a panic attack. What if this guy could read Zack’s energy and knew something I didn’t? What if the death sentence he envisioned was somehow connected to those disturbing headaches? What if all those movies with the slightly insane yet incredibly prophetic characters who could save countless people if they could only get past the slightly psycho exterior were being replayed in my MIL’s livingroom? I actually considered picking Zack up and taking him to the emergency room right then and there, leaving my MIL to deal with the crazy man. But what would I tell them? “This crazy man said my son’s dying and I need you to look into that for me.”
After about 10 agonizing minutes with this man insisting on Zack’s death and frightening Kaleb and Leah beyond belief while I stood between them shaking uncontrollably, the policeman arrived.
Long story short, the policeman got the crazy man home and his caretakers promised to suspend his walks. And I finally stopped shaking.
But for whatever reason, having someone tell you that your son is dying, even if that someone’s presence of mind is questionable, is a disturbing experience. Last night was long and uncomfortable. Thankfully in the light of day the old man seemed less prophetic and more lost. And Zack, I’m happy to announce, is still very much alive.
Mama? She be needing some therapy.