A sentence I don't like to hear

There are several phrases I could go through the rest of my life without hearing. The first that instantly springs to mind is, “The dog ate a 2 pound bag of pitted prunes.” The other is, “your sister has been taken to the hospital.”

In August 1997, my family was out in Spokane, WA for the Subud World Congress. I was a counselor in the childcare program, and my sister was 15 and in the high school group. We were spending the day at an amusement park (although I can’t imagine that it was a very good one, being that Spokane is not a very big place), and I was with my group of 8 kids, ranging in age from 6 to 10. We were standing in line for some ride, when a friend of my sister’s came running up to tell me that she had been taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

It turns out that what had happened was that while walking through a spring-mounted gate, her foot had gotten caught near the hinge. It had ripped her big toe nail almost entirely off, and she needed to have it stitched back into place, so that her toe nail would know how to continue to grow in the future. There weren’t any adults with cars to spare, so the ambulance had been called. She was the most notorious person at the Congress for about a day and a half after.

The last couple of times I’ve talked to my mom, I’ve asked her, “hey, have your heard from Rain?” We’ve both been on the edges of our seats, waiting to hear what’s going on with her and the boy who continues to pledge his undying love. Today when I called, before I could even ask how Raina was, my mom said the phrase I’ve now heard twice to many times in my life. “Your sister was taken to the hospital.” It turns out that she got the stomach flu while camping out at the Kerrville Folk Festival, had been lying sick in her tent in 96 degree weather and got really dehydrated. Thankfully, she’s now at a friend’s apartment in Lubbock, TX, recouperating in the air conditioning.

I’m deeply relieved to know that she’s okay (although since I didn’t learn she was sick until I also was told that she was recovering, I didn’t get a chance to worry too much).  Now I’m just hoping that I will get through the rest of my life, never having to hear that phrase again.

0 thoughts on “A sentence I don't like to hear

  1. howard

    I’ve actually heard the same phrase a few times in my life. Never a pleasant thing to hear. But I’m glad she’s going to be okay.

  2. Ellen

    Heard it this weekend myself, while getting ready for the play, and luckily didn’t need a trip myself after hearing it. I still think they should have opened with “your sister is fine, but”

    My sister, at age 45, went into ana-whatever (can’t spell it) shock after eating a big bowl of shrimp and was kept for 24 H. As in – ate shrimp last week, fine, ate it this week, not fine. Is off shellfish for life now, and I think they are telling her she probably shouldn’t even be around the prep of seafood.

  3. Pat

    After hearing that-if she goes to the Falcon Ridge Folk fest- she is staying at the nearby B&B- fer-sure!

  4. raina rose

    oh meece.
    i am fine. i am still a little dizzy and am having a hard time eating enough food to keep my energy level up. but lubbock is a flat flat land. i miss you. i love you and i’m fine…i’ll call you about the boy though…

  5. Ellen

    Raina – for the dehydration part – as foul as it may sound – Gatorade is your friend. The electrolytes and salt content is designed to keep one from getting dehydrated (I’ve had a few awful spells of heat stroke where this has helped tremendously). Even if you find it foul tasting and don’t want to have it all the time (and I’m with you there), maybe keep a 16-oz on you at all times for emergencies.

    Also, you may want to have a few cans of Boost around for emergencies too. Can’t attest to the taste, would never suggest that’d be a reason why (though would hope it’s not bloody awful), but it’s what they tell old ladies to have around in case they “forget to eat” (there’s some memory loss I can get behind). Again, not as a regular diet tool, or better than food, but if you start to feel iffy. it’ll get a ton of vitamins and minerals into you REAL FAST. It’s helped my grandmom a bit, especially when she’d tell my mom she was refusing to eat, Mom could convince her to have some.

    This is me being selfish, if you lose energy this takes away from you making more music that I like.

  6. Russ

    may i recommend that you add marc broussard’s “carencro” to your i-pod. great CD from an incredibly talented young man. “the beauty of who you are” will affect you in a very positive way.

    p.s. – i grew up in abington. left 35 years ago… but still miss those summer days in downtown philly.

  7. Ingrid

    I read those opening sentences with my heart in my mouth, but was relieved to know that all was under control by the end of the post. Raina, take care of your self, that Texas heat can be pretty unforgiving. Also, to go along with Ellen’s food advice, if you can’t stand the taste of regular Boost, either they or Ensure make a tropical friut juice version that has all of the vitamins, minerals etc. of the regular stuff but a much better taste. Don’t ask me how I know this. 🙂 Glad to hear you’re okay Raina.


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