Good to their word, the girls called Aunt Beth, while grandma drifted through bead land. I have no idea what made the sound I fixed on, but it made the dreams work out. The doctors kept me unconscious for four days. In that time I had a right craniotomy for subdural hematoma evacuation of my encounter with the grill.
I can say this: if someone volunteers to perform my very own craniotomy, I’d probably decline. But, the most pain, post-procedure, was the little slice into a groin artery to thread a drain to my brain to evacuate two hematomas, a nice big one from the sudden stop against the grill, and a smaller one just a couple of months old that I bet a sudden stop against my own cupboard door left. The surgery left me unable to talk or walk, but the nice surgeons drifted in every few hours to tell me I was doing a good job, before sending me back to beads and park rangers.
My daughter Beth came to claim the girls, and her husband Bill came to drive home my car. When they called her, Beth told them to Uber back to the motel, order in a pizza, and not create a disturbance. Oh, yes, and order a new room key with the best story they could muster. Beth checked them periodically, and was satisfied all was well. At least the phone was answered, as expected.
The very next day the girls expressed their disappointment at missing the Jefferson memorial and the tidal basin boats by grandmas’ sudden stop. Good for them! Beth took them back to view the marble they missed, before heading back to Ohio, the next morning.
As they left the hotel the next morning, the girls suggested a quick trip to Starbucks, across the road, and Beth led the expedition. Before the doors closed behind them, the wait staff were out from behind the counters. “There you are! We’ve been talking about you! How’s your grandma? We’re so worried about her.”
“Grandma will be just fine,” Caroline announced. “Mom’s taking us home and coming back for grandma.” Thirteen year old minds deal beautifully with time and place. Beth exited behind a latte and a chocolate with double whipped cream, smiling.
Grandma did leave, a couple of weeks later, though not discharged. It was a fine adventure, and I doubt my grandchildren will realize it for several more years.