‘Oh look at how pretty that is!’ my team member said while looking out of our office window.
I am not sure about pretty, but it certainly was dramatic and it certainly would not be pretty for long. The tops of the trees were a golden colour from the sun poking through the only gap in a thunderous sky. The clouds were that particular shade of gun-metal grey that meant it was about to bucket down and pelt the living daylights out of everything it touched.
I messaged my mother as the rain started to hurtle out of the skies. It was still early so she probably had not rung the hospital to check on my dad.
‘You are not thinking of going out in this weather, are you?’
‘Hopefully it will settle down,’ was her enigmatic reply.
An hour later it was still pretty cold but had stopped raining. I checked messenger. My mother had been suspiciously quiet, but I knew that Dr’s rounds were not over until 11.
There was no activity. ‘Surely she could not have gone out in this weather,’ I said to my colleague.
My landline rang. ‘Good morning, ‘ I said. ‘How can I help you?’
My mother’s voice came on the line. ‘It’s me. I am at the hospital.’
She had decided to launch herself out without bothering to call first, so confident was she that there was no way they were going to discharge my father today.
‘We are in the discharge lounge,’ she said.
I asked if she wanted me to come and get them but apparently it was not that easy. (When is it ever that easy?). The doctor on the ward that had just released my father had to write a letter and pharmacy had to give him some medications to take with him. They would be a while.
I was sure they would. In the many, many times I have waited for my father to be discharged from hospital, no matter what time in the morning that is decided, pharmacy has never been able to deliver the goods before 3 pm.
‘Have you got your mobile with you?’ I asked.
‘Yes,’ she said, ‘but it has no credit, so they let me use their phone.’
‘OK,’ I said. ‘I will get online and recharge your phone. Then you can call me when you think you might be ready.’
‘OK,’ she said.
‘OK,’ I said and hung up.
I charged the phone and sent her a text to tell her the phone should be good to go. There was no reply. So I called her. No reply.
My phone rang.
‘It is me,’ said my mother. ‘They are talking about organising a car for us but it may take until 5 pm to arrive.
‘That is another three hours,’ I said. ‘Look don’t worry about the car, I will come and get you. Just call when you need me.’
‘Okay,’ she said.
Half an hour later my phone rang.
‘Hello?’ I said.
There was no reply.
‘Hello? Hello?’ I tried.
I could hear my mother’s voice. She was talking to a nurse.
‘Hellooooooooo!’ I tried again.
‘And is that one pill or two?’ my mother asked the nurse.
‘No, he has had two, so he just needs another two tonight,’ the nurse said.
I tried whistling into the phone, but it was no use, she had apparently managed to call me from inside her handbag. I hung up and tried calling her phone. No reply. I tried again.
A text message appeared on my phone from my mother,’ I can’t talk right now. I will call you back.’ it said.
The message was an automatic one from the phone. I know that because all the punctuation was correct.
I stared glumly at my phone and thought of all the modern technology that my mother was apparently able to defeat without even touching it.
An hour later, my phone rang. It was three o’clock.
‘It’s me,’ my mother said. ‘We are ready to come home.’