Last night I came home from work to find my roommate (the one whose room I’m actually crashing in until mine is fixed) sobbing. I’ve only seen her cry once before throughout our friendship; she’s a strong woman, so it hurts all the more to see her so distraught. Turns out her dad, who’s a truck driver, had a heart attack while working yesterday early morning. Allie lost her mother when she was very young, and has no siblings, so he’s all she’s got left for immediate family.
Unfortunately, he’s stuck halfway across the country en route, and his condition seems to be worse than that of typical heart attack survivor. The hospital he was admitted to claims he’ll need to stay a few days before being released, and will need surgery shortly thereafter, if not before he leaves. As you might imagine, all this dismal news was not well received by Allie. She was hysterical as she was explaining his condition to me.
It took me awhile, but I managed to get her to calm down, to think rationally. What’s important is getting her to him so she can be there to support him through whatever treatment he’ll need to undergo. Of course, the timing couldn’t be any worse. As it turns out, Friday flights on Memorial weekend are just a tad pricey. Allie couldn’t afford one now and said she’d have to wait until next week to get out to her dad.
There’s just no way I could let her wait days in misery like that, so after hours of holding her, rubbing her back, assuring her things would be ok, I booked her a ticket for today once she’d fallen asleep in my arms. I woke her up early this morning, before either of us would have to get up for work, to tell her I’d reserved a flight this afternoon so she could go see her dad. I made sure the return date was flexible, just in case she needed more time.
She was floored by what I’d done, and incredibly grateful, but it’s the least I could have done for her. Our financial situations aren’t the same. She’s had to work constantly throughout school to pay for her car, phone, etc. While she’s got a full scholarship, there are a lot of other costs associated with living away from home she needs to work to cover. On the other hand, my parents have been adamant that neither my siblings nor I are to work throughout school. “Being a student, and having the college experience, is your job,” my dad told all of us. What sort of person would I be to watch her suffer, knowing I could have helped her?
I called my dad today to explain the reason for the charge on my credit card. “I met a girl,” I told him “she was going to a music festival this weekend, and I wanted to go with her.” I don’t like being dishonest. Lying, by my parent’s count, is an inexcusable sin (highly Christian upbringing). But my dad’s a sucker for irresponsible frat boy behavior, which I’m not prone to, and ate the story out of the palm of my hand. This is the very thing he chalks up as the “college experience”, and encourages that sort of thing in me. Any way, in the clear there.
Allie called to let me know her plane arrived safely, but I haven’t heard from her yet regarding her dad’s condition. It was all I could think about today. My prayers go to her and her dad.