Fu Manchu (I Told You I was Sick S1:E1)
Updated: Sep 1
Author's Note: "I told you I was sick" served as a punch line in my family.
* child barfs all over the back seat of the 1970 Vega station wagon
Meems: Why didn't you tell me to pull over!?
Child: I told you I was sick!
Kathy and I volleyed ITYIWS back and forth punching for the laugh as we teased my mother. You'd be surprised how ITYIWS can be applied to just about any situation.
When Kathy called to tell us she had acute monocytic leukemia (a bad kind), she ended the announcement with "I told you I was sick." She always found the funny. I have decided to follow her good example by tagging this series of stories ITYIWS.
On July 22, 2020, I lost my muse. She served me well for the final eleven years of her life. She said the darndest things. She was playful and silly and loved like no other. After she took her last breath, I lost my words. I lost my mom. I lost the Meems.
On July 24, 2021, I found a new muse. My very own self. July 24 - 27 were filled with dark clouds heavy with drenching rain. Torrents of words fell down upon me soaking my silent, parched fingers willing them to tap-tap-tap on my keyboard. So here I sit. Tapping.
"From whence did this deluge spring forth?" asks you.
"From an ER in Houston, Texas," says I.
"What thuh?!" you query.
"I had a stroke," I explain.
Now, calm down. I'm fine. A full recovery is expected. The great news is that humorous stories bloomed amidst the uncertainty and trauma. And, I will live on to tell them.
Over the next few whiles, I will tell you the stories that Kathy and Meems will one day howl over when I see them in Heaven. We'll gasp for breath as we bury our faces in our hands and shake with silent, whistling laughter. You see, my original blog which originated in 2010 was called "Finding the Funny": an homage to Kathy, "the funny one." I need to commit these stories to "paper" so that I'll be able to remember them for years to come and, well, eternity.
Until I sit before my computer again, I leave you with some valuable advice.
The moment you are unable to maneuver your fingers around the stem of a wine glass like a toy crane claw that has no intention of retrieving an adorable stuffed unicorn on the top of the pile of darling stuffed prizes, ask someone to fetch you a ball-point pen. While waiting for the ball-point pen, calmly remove your watch. You won't be needing it for the next 24-48 hours. Pen in hand, draw a circle on your wrist to represent a "timepiece" and write inside that inky circle the EXACT TIME, ie, 14:21CST, that your wine glass became coy and elusive. The time on your new "watch" will dictate how the rest of your story, perhaps your life, plays out. You may think I am kidding. I am not.
In your spare time, write one hundred words that start with the letter F on a 3X5 notecard and carry it on your person at all times. You're just going to have to trust me on this one.
NEVER stay in cool new boutique hotels that were once quaint old office buildings. EVER. Again, trust me.
If an EMT offers to cover your head with a sheet, roll with it. There is fun to be had. Not accepting the anonymity of a shroud was a decision I will regret for years to come.
Needless to say, over the past few days I have seriously been considering adding the following to my bucket list:
rocky mountain climbin'
spending 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu
And, I have loved deeper and spoke sweeter and given forgiveness I'd been denying. And, profusely thanked God that I still have years and years to fully live like I am dying.
I love you, friend. Truly, madly deeply.
Bring it, Fu. Bring. It.