And then there was the time I went to pay my parents a visit. Nothing special, just wanted to check in on them to see how they were doing. It was just past dinnertime when I arrived. Upon entering their condo I could see that they were in the living room, watching Wheel of Fortune, a typical after dinner ritual.
Mom’s oversized down chair was nearer to me, as I approached I asked, “Hi mom, how ya doing? It’s dark in here, why don’t you put the lights on?”
For some reason, even though it had turned dark outside my parents rarely turned the lights on inside. They would, literally, sit in the dark. I could never figure that one out. Anyway, I then walked over to say hello to dad when I noticed he was slumped over on one side, the right side of his face was asymmetrical and quite unnatural.
“Dad, hey… Are you okay?” I said, alarmed and concerned.
“Mom, what’s with dad, do you see the way he’s sitting?” My voice elevating higher.
Without missing a beat she whispered, “I think your father had a stroke, a little bit” before returning to watch Pat Sajack give the wheel a final spin.
“What!” I shouted. “A stroke a little bit…what does that even mean, you either have a stroke or you don’t…what little bit?!”
I called 911. As it turned out my dad had ‘bell’s palsy’, a form of temporary facial paralysis. It was not serious or life threatening…I guess my mother must have known. At least I could only hope so.