I was upstairs studying for school when I heard my stepmother coughing uncontrollably in the bathroom below me. Being a student nurse, I figured I should go check to make sure everything was all right. When I got there, my dad was looking rather frantic, pacing around the kitchen searching for something. He told me that my stepmom was having trouble with her asthma and he needed to find her nebulizer (for those of you not in the medical field, it's a machine that delivers medication to someone having an asthma attack). He said he was going to go out to the garage to continue looking for it and asked if I would please keep an ear out for her to make sure she was okay. I went into their room to check on her while he went to search for the meds. After about 5 minutes, my stepmother's coughing had calmed down enough that I wasn't worried about having to call 911 for her anymore, so I went back to the kitchen to see what my father was up to. I had never seen him look so frazzled! He had the same look on his face that I often get when my kiddo is really sick or gets hurt. He wanted so badly to make her feel better and he was trying the best he could. When I found him, he was standing at the kitchen counter trying to assemble some machine he had gotten from an unlabeled black bag out in the garage. I told him that my stepmom was feeling better and that the attack was subsiding. His relief was evident and it seemed like he was finally able to take a real breath now that the emergency had passed. I finally took a look at what it was he was trying to assemble in front of him, and I'm pretty sure I looked at him with a VERY confused expression on my face. (Also, I was trying not to burst out laughing, as that would have been completely inappropriate given the severity of the situation just a few minutes prior...but it definitely makes me laugh now as I am writing this!) He huffed out a breath and set the plastic pieces he was holding in his hands down on the counter. "Good", he said, "because I can't figure out how to put this thing together!" I looked him straight in the face, eyes full of mirth, and responded, "That's okay, Dad...I don't think my old breast pump would've helped her much in this situation anyway..."
Congratulations to my parents on their 10th anniversary!!