Bittersweet Memory or “How Melissa Ferrick Reminded Me of This.”

30th May 2013

Last night I had the great fun to direct a livestreaming performance of Melissa Ferrick and her band after directing an interview that went almost an hour at Redstar Union. Check this place out: Awesome stuff!

Before the show, I met Melissa and showed her the autographed copy of “Everything I Need” that I’d won and she’d autographed oh-so-many-years ago. I thought it had been in the early ’90s but she reminded me that it came out in 1998. I remember going to that show with my best friend but until Melissa reminded me of the year, I hadn’t remembered this:

The show was in October, a couple weeks or so after my Mom had been diagnosed with lung cancer. I was going to stay with my folks after the show and help my Mom with housework, whatever she needed, the next day. When I got home, my Mom was on the couch — too weak to move. I called an ambulance, told the crew my Mom was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and had a growth the size of a lime in her left lung.

Off to the hospital we went, me in my car with the dog — who’d never been to my parents’ house before that day. He was a nervous sort when there was change so I figured he’d be better off camped out in the parking lot with his blanket and squeaky toy.

My Mom was seen by an ER doc who called my Dad and me out of the room to look at the chest x-ray they’d taken. Two weeks beforehand, my Mom’s doc had said, “We’re going to fight this, Helen.” Four steps ahead of my father, I intercepted the ER doc saying, “Well, you know this is terminal.” I nearly stomped on his foot and mouthed the words, “HE DOESN’T KNOW!” and jerked my thumb toward my chest to indicate my Dad behind me. The doc reddened and quickly changed tack.

But that was the first moment I had any inkling that my Mom wasn’t going to survive. The night I came home flying on Melissa Ferrick’s music and her hit song, “Everything I Need.”

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