Bride Elect (Evolution of a Bridezilla)
Chapter Thirty-Seven— Lucky Number
I am not a superstitious person by nature. I do, however, have a mild fascination with patterns and coincidences. Growing up I couldn’t help but notice that the thirteen of any given month—Friday or not—was a day where significant things might happen. My parents, who met on April Fools Day, would often tell me about significant events that happened to them on “the 13th”. One of their favourite examples was the day they bought their first house: Friday, March 13th. My dad especially, was not superstitious over the number 13, but then again he had bigger numerical concerns to hang his voodoo-worries on: he had the reviled triple six on his ID cards.
I, on the other hand, noticed that the last three numbers of my same ID card added up to the number 13. Throughout my school years, tests written on the 13th often rendered favourable scores, and while I never won any jackpots, I always ensured any BINGO cards, and lottery tickets I bought had a 13 in them.
When I got the job I have today, I could help but note a rather interesting coincidence: my first day of work was Friday, October 13. That day is often credited with starting the whole superstition in the first place, because of the fall of the Knights of the Holy Templar. For me, in this lifetime, that particular Friday the 13th was a tremendously fortuitous day. That day launched my career in a direction that has been so invigorating and gratifying. Suffice to say, that day help me redefine “lucky” for myself.
More than a decade later, it seemed as if Friday the 13th was trying to loose its lucky sheen for me. It was July, and my “crazy bitch” car was in the shop—still. My mechanic had just informed me that they found oil in the antifreeze. It was one of those moments I deemed appropriate to deploy the f-bomb. Like a damn fool, I asked the rhetorical question, “What’s next?”
Almost on cue, the phone rang. My mom was calling and there was panic in her voice: she was pretty sure Dad was having another stroke—she wanted to call 911. I assured her that I would call my brother and sister, and then come over. Even as I spoke to her I was trying to figure out the logistics of how one might do that when her car was in the shop. (fuckety, fuck, fuck) There were a flurry of phone calls and texts, all the while I managed to tell Palucid what was going on so that he could re-adjust his work schedule to accommodate my transport out to my parents.
The wheels on Palucid car had scarcely stopped rolling when I jumped out and sprinted to the First Responder vehicle. Donovan Bailey had nothing on me in that moment. The paramedic assured me that my dad was assessed as having mild, stroke like symptoms, and he had been given medication and was enroute to the ER. I was also told that he was conscious and aware when they departed.
I am not sure, but I probably thanked the man before I sprinted down the rest of the driveway and up to my parents’ house. A neighbour had come over to be with my mom until we got there. She was a nurse, and assured me that she was available to help if they ever needed her. I was starting to feel my special Friday the 13th mojo slowly returning. My dad was rushed to emergency just before lunch. I remember this because my mom tried to feed me before we left for the hospital.
Palucid had to tend to a few matters with his work and knew I would call him the moment I had any updates. My mom and I would take my dad’s car to the ER. It was a slow and excruciating drive rife with red lights, construction delays, and people doing their best “glacier” impressions. It was your classic summer day on the prairies—hot. When we finally got to the hospital and parked, I jumped out of my dad’s car, and I swear half the skin off my ass stayed adhered—cooked on to—the leather seats in my dad’s car. I half hoped that there would be no available chairs in the waiting room.
When I first saw my dad, he was sitting there in what can only be described as a typical hospital setting: everyone around him was talking about him, and around him—but not with him. I approached him, and just started talking to him—about my car. It was my own little lucidity test. His eyes lit up and without missing a beat, we were discussing the latest drama with my car. His doctor interrupted my dad’s intricate explanation of Volvo Turbos to tell us the good news: he could go home. The stroke was mild, symptoms were progressively reversing or recovering, and initial tests indicate there was little-to-no long term damage. After some paper work, and fulfilling a couple of prescriptions, my dad would be home by supper time.
All things considered, I felt very lucky. Sure, no one really considers having a stroke lucky, and neither do I; however, very few stroke victims my dad’s age are so fortunate to have such a rapid recovery. My dad seemed to credit the fortunate outcome of the events to the auspicious date. So, when we decided on our wedding date, we chose the day that would mark the one year anniversary of that stroke, and my dad heartily approved.
Numerologists might huff and sputter foreboding utterance of the “incompleteness” of it all. After all, twelve is a complete number where as thirteen is a transgression of completeness. Fans of Sacred Geometry aren’t as panicked given the whole Fibonacci Code thing. As for me, I don’t see thirteen as a transgression of completeness, I see it more of a transcendence beyond the limits of “completeness”. In other words, the continued pursuit, or striving of, contentedness.