The Jewel of the Morte Madre
I was driving a shuttle van to the opera one evening and I had picked up quite a few people and had a few others to pick up at a hotel in Santa Fe and then we were ready to go up to the opera house. As we were leaving the hotel on the south side of town, I was debating wheather I should take a left and go through town with all the traffic and signal lights or take a right and go airport road to the bypass, which is a nice scenic drive at 55 but is considerably out of the way geographically, but seems to take about the same amount of time. There was another shuttle bus on my left, a big white one with an orange stripe, he took a left and I took a right, opting for the longer scenic route. Just as I turned a lady in the back of my van started bitching. “You’re going the wrong way, I want to get there early so I can people watch” I told her it was a little out of the way but took the same amount of time, and I dropped it. I was driving, and I wasn’t in the mood to discuss it. She bitched all the way, and the other people in the van were annoyed. It was funny because in the beginning of the ride she seemed very nice and we had joked around with each other, I said I would show her around town and she had teased me that she was old enough to be my mother. Then when I turned right instead of left she changed into a complaining grump. It was funny though because when I did the loop to merge with the northbound traffic to the opera house, after listening to her complain the whole way, I merged into the right lane, bumper to bumper, at the same speed, with that white bus with the orange stripe, the one that was at the hotel and had exited to the left. I just said oh look, it’s that bus that took a left out of the hotel, I never realised it was exactly the same driving time. The woman was very quiet the rest of the way. There was something odd about it though, the timing on the merge was too perfect, front bumpers side by side, exactly the same speed, I noticed it at the time, it was cosmic timing, and I gave a little thanks, I had been proven right and everyone in the van knew it. The timing was odd though, it was too perfect.
Anyway, a few days later I was helping Fritz clean the van, and we are vacuuming the floor and he pulls out a silver necklace, it is a really nice one, and he says that we should put it in the lost and found box in the office. I said, “Actually let me hold on to it, I know the people that I have shuttled, if someone calls, I will have it for them. I was thinking that it was so nice that it might disappear from the lost and found box, and if no one ever called, hey… score. It was sort of feminine, but not really, I would wear it, and I did, I put it around my neck. I wore it for a few days, it wasn’t really me, so I put it in the cup holder of the van.
I was spending a lot of time in Albuquerque at that time because my mother was in the hospital. She had major heart surgery, a triple bypass and an aorta replacement. One saturday morning, my sister called me, and said that Mom wasn’t doing well, and had been moved to the CCU (coronary care unit) during the night. She said that I better get down to the hospital quick, she sounded worried. She said ” You pray, this might be a good time to do it.” So I did, I said a little prayer hopped in the van and went to the hospital. On the highway I saw a bumper sticker that said “Life’s short, pray hard” I said another prayer, I didn’t exactly know what to pray so I just prayed that Gods will be done, that we make the right decisions for thy will to be done, and I asked for a sign that all was happening according to Gods will.As I pulled up in the parking lot of the hospital, that necklace in the cupholder caught my eye, and I thought, oh what the hell, and I put it on again.
I went upstairs to the CCU with my sister and brother in law, we had to wait a few minutes before we could enter the CCU, so we sat in the waiting room for about five minutes. Then I checked on the phone and we were allowed in. We walked through the doors into the CCU where my mother was in room three. As we were walking towards her room, two women were walking out, they looked familiar. They didn’t recognize me, but I recognized the woman that had bitched all the way to the opera. I said Hi, and she looked puzzled. I said, “I gave you a ride to the opera a few weeks ago.” She said “Oh yes, hello, you know, you didn’t happen to find a necklace in your van did you?” I just reached up and unclipped it and pulled it out from under my shirt and handed it to her. My brother in law said “Wo, I just got chills” and the woman started tearing up. She said that the necklace was given to her by her late husband, that he had gotten it for her at the Hurd Museum and that it had great sentemental value. It was a very strange moment, again cosmic timing. It was my sign, that I was in perfect placement, and in perfect timing, and that it was OK for my Mother to be in the CCU right now.I asked her why she was in the CCU and she said her Mother was dieing, it was only a matter of time. She was in room four, I told her my Mother was in room three. We went and checked on my mom and she was actually doing alright considering, she was in pretty good spirits and laughing about the whole episode that night, and the woman with the necklace was going on and on about how amazing it was that I had her necklace, and I had her come in to meet my Mother. I said, “You remember when I was flirting with you and you said you were old enough to be my Mother? Well this is my Mother.” We had a good laugh and I saw her a week or so later at the hospital. I got her Mothers name and both of our Mothers passed from the world around the same time and their obituaries were printed on the same page of the Albuquerque journal on August 20th, 2004