11:01:26 am on
Tuesday 04 Aug 2020

Ready to Go
AJ Robinson

I remember, years ago, watching the movie Apollo 13. There was that vital launch scene. The Flight Director asks all the technicians to give a final “Go, No-Go” decision for the ship being ready to take off.

Ready to Go.

It’s a scene that’s oft repeated in other movies. In Contact, for example, Jodie Foster, as character, Eleanor Arroway, tells ground control she is “Good to go.” They can launch her into the unknown on a machine built with instructions from an alien race.

Just recently, I had my own “Good to go” incident. It had nothing to do with a rocket launch. It could concern a journey to the stars, in a way.

My mother has moved to a new medical facility, in Port Charlotte, Florida. She, in fact, is closer to my mother-in-law and other members of her family. The hospital is currently specializing in one area, Coronavirus.

Yes, my mother, recovering from an auto accident, now has covid-19. Her diagnose came late last week. My brother Greg sent the family a text with the details.

Hill illness, at this point it is not serious. It’s not in her respiratory system. We know only too well how bad it could get.

That’s why the hospital made the decision to transfer her. The Port Charlotte facility is where coronavirus cases, in the area, as hospitalised. It’s a sane safety measure.

Later that day I was able to call mom. She picked up the phone. I was impressed, surprised and overjoyed. She sounded quite good.

The strength was back in her voice. Her mind was clear. She was even working on a Sudoku.

If she must.

Yet, there was something else. She made it clear that she was “good to go.” She knew she was sick. She knew the seriousness of her illness. She was at peace.

If this is the moment, she had no complaints. She would go to her glory with joy. A curious calm settled over me, which was surprising.

I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t upset. I didn’t argue with her.

It was her decision. I respected it. Amazingly, I didn’t break down and lose it.

She liked the place where she now lived. The people were nice. Her room is comfy. Many of the family had called to wish her well.

Still, it’s still on lockdown. We can’t visit her. Jo Ann, my wife, knows the place; she says it’s a one-story building, which means she has a ground floor window.

Just today I heard from my brother Danny, he drove down to see her and had a window visit. David plans to go there this coming weekend. Jo Ann and I have already decided that we will follow suit.

We don’t know where this path will lead, but we’re going to travel it. It’s not like we have any choice. Well, it’s a Hobbesian choice.

 There’s nothing that says how we must make the journey or how many stops they’ll be along the way. I pray there are many. I know the odds are against mom.

Yet, I also take comfort from the words of our friend Sharon. She said there was nothing to worry about. In a battle between the coronavirus and Silvana, her money is on Silvana.

A shot right over the green monster.

In that regard, I must agree. Given all that my mom has faced over the years, she may be ready to go, she may be “good to go,” but she’s not about to simply lie down and die. No, she’s going down swinging, and we’ll all be right there cheering her on!

Put one over the Green Dragon, Mom, right through the CITGO sign!

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

More by AJ Robinson:
Tell a Friend

Click above to tell a friend about this article.