True stories with a twist!

Melody, Annie and I have talked about it for months. How wonderful it would be to jump out of our worlds and into a peaceful one for one whole weekend. A few days without making coffee, making beds or making peace between children would be wonderful.

But when? Only one weekend we bat around turns out to be a unanimous possibility. If not for that weekend we’ll have to wait months before untangling our schedules. We decide to take it.

The deposit to the spa is made. The calls back and forth to each other revs up our excitement, as we decide which services to sign up for, which classes to attend and which lectures to listen to.

“Have you ever tried ‘Rock N Bosu,’” Annie asks?

“Do you think the ‘Aerobic Circuit Weights’ would be too hard?” wonders Melody.

“What do you know about ‘The Power of Breath,’” I say.

A week before our departure Melody mentions casually that she’s been under a dentist’s care for a persistent toothache. “He doesn’t think it’s serious. He’ll check me again when I get home.”

Annie’s three year old daughter develops a high fever, but she will be fine by next week, in time for the three departures from our three different states.

The next problem arises when Melody’s husband, Stan is called to London on a business trip. He’s got to solve a tricky corporate problem. Will he return in time to stay with the children?

My problem is that the weekend we choose is the weekend of a close friend’s retirement party. This one date doesn’t sound so optimal  any more.

It is too late to cancel our reservations without losing our deposits. Now the calls between the three of us take on a somber tone. “Can we go? Should we go? What if two of us can go and the third can’t? Is this an all or nothing, or an every man for himself trip?”

Feeling discouraged, Melody says to me, “Maybe the Gods are telling us something.” I answer, “That is primitive thinking. No spirits are ganging up on us.”

We wait until the last minute to decide, when Melody’s husband, Stan, rescues the company and our dream trip in one fell swoop. He returns in time for her to meet us .

My mind registers a fifties song, “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.” Two good days out of three ain’t bad. We enjoy two wonderful days together.

Melody’s toothache returns with furious vengeance. She is convinced to try acupuncture to ease the pain, which helps for a little while. I see her walking through the spa holding an ice pack to her face. She calls the dentist back home, who says, “Although tomorrow is my day off I will come into the office if you can be here early. It sounds like you need root canal. The pain becomes so severe that she decides to drive home that evening to meet him the following morning.

Annie and I feel terrible for her pain, for the timing of this savage tooth attack, and for losing the precious last day of our dream spa vacation together.

We go to game night that evening.  I am beyond excited to win a flash drive for my computer. Annie practically whoops with joy at winning a free massage. But the excitement of winning doesn’t make up for the sadness we feel at Melody’s absence. She always loved game night. We miss her gentle, sweet, upbeat personality.

It almost makes us consider her question, “Maybe the Gods are telling us something.”

Returning to our room, Annie finds a telephone message from her husband, Casey. The baby is all right, but the younger of their two sons has caught the cold, is running a high fever, and now Casey feels as if he is coming down with the same “bug”. Annie assumes that it won’t be long before their older son catches it as well. She wants to head home right then, but I urge, “Please don’t leave now. It’s 10 o’clock at night. Stay here, get some sleep and leave early tomorrow morning. You’ll still get home before Casey and the children awake.” Annie agrees.

When I get up Sunday Morning the room is glumly, eerily quiet. Simon and Garfunkle were right; there really is a “Sound of Silence.” Annie left a note saying she left for home at 5AM, and wished me a good final day at the spa.

What mother could enjoy a day at a spa when her two daughters are forced to leave for health related reasons?

I pack my suitcase, call for my car and begin the long lonesome drive home.

Ronnie Hammer

April, 2011

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