I have a miserable feeling
We took Jolene to the doctor today. Now you have to understand the circumstances. Jolene is a ten year old girl, but not your typical ten year old girl in any way. And this doctor, well he was a doctor from another town, filling in for Doctor Ben who was away on some kind of personal thing. So this was ugly from the get-go.
Jolene woke up and said "I have a miserable feeling".I asked her to tell me what that meant. Tummy trouble, sore throat, headache. Nope - just a miserable feeling is all she said. So we bundle everyone up, me, her Dad, the baby, six year old brother and off we go to the free clinic. On the way we sing the favorite song "Jolene". I am so sick of that song, but it's her favorite and she knows all the words and she is a big Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus fan so we all sang along.
Once we got to the clinic, we all waited and waited. Finally Jolene's name was called and I went back with her. I left Dad with the other two. Good luck to him, I thought.
The fill-in doctor asked Jolene what was wrong and again all she said was "I have a miserable feeling". The doctor looked at me and I shrugged.
"Okay, sweetie, can you tell me what that means?"
Jolene again said "I have a miserable feeling".
The doctor looked puzzled. I could see from his face he had no clue what to do next. "Well, then let's have you lie back on the table and let me feel your tummy. Is that okay?"
Jolene lay back and closed her eyes. She resigned herself to be examined. I prayed she wouldn't have one of her fits and scream and throw herself to the floor. So far so good. Poking and prodding produced no sound or movement from Jolene. She lay still as a stick with her eyes still shut.
"Okay, Jolene. You can sit up now. I'll look in your throat now. Say aahh." She sat up and opened her mouth. "Now I'll check your ears." The doctor used that shiny thing and checked both ears.
"Well, Mom. All looks good. I'm not real sure what is wrong. Do you have any ideas what Jolene means by a miserable feeling?"
"Nope. Not a clue. She just woke up this mornin' and told me she had a miserable feeling. This girl never is sick so when she says somethin' is wrong, well then we bring her here to see Doctor Ben."
Jolene sat on the table. No sound, no movement. Nothing.
"I see. Well, I guess you can go home. Call us if anything happens. I can't find anything wrong." The doctor walked to the door. "You can go now, Jolene. And make sure you get yourself a sucker on the way out. A sweet girl needs a sweet treat every now and then. Check out with the ladies at the front, Mom." And just like that the fill-in doctor was gone.
We got to the waiting room and gathered the rest of the family. On the way home, the song "Jolene" was sung again. Mercy, how I hate that song. Jolene sang the loudest with the baby howling in the background.
When we got the house, Jolene said again, "I got a miserable feeling".
"Well, that is just too bad, Jolene. I am truly sorry to hear that. You know what? So do I. I am feeling miserable that we had to waste our mornin' at the doctor's office. And now our lunch is late and the baby is cryin' and your brother is hungry and your father had to miss work. All because you had a miserable feeling! What is still so miserable?"
"The world is gonna end tonight. I had a dream." She was staring at the floor.
"Jolene, you do NOT make a joke like that, you hear me? I'm as serious as a stroke. The world is not gonna end tonight. The sun will come up in the mornin' as always. Now help me make lunch so the baby can go to nap and Dad can go on to work and we can get back to life. Stop talkin' nonsense." I stood in the middle of the kitchen and stared out the window. The wind was starting to blow the clothes on the line. Time to get them in before they ended up in the next county. "You get the meat out the icebox so we can get some sandwiches goin' and I'll change the baby." Jolene continued to stare at the floor. "NOW!" I yelled just a bit too loudly.
The afternoon wore on and then dinnertime came and went. Still no end of the world. As darkness started creeping in, I found Jolene on the front porch. She was on the swing. I sat beside her and tried to get her to talk.
"Do you still have that miserable feeling?"
"I still do. The world is still gonna end tonight. It'll happen around midnight."
"Do tell. Well, no sense goin' to bed then. Why don't we just sit out here and wait for it to happen." And that is just what we did. We talked until midnight, just before the end.