The first message was from my mom, who is in Panamá. Through the sobs she managed to communicate that I should call my aunt's cell phone as soon as I got that message. Naturally, I expected the worst.
The second message was from my dad in San Diego, telling me to call Panamá as soon as possible, as it may be my last chance to speak with my grandmother. At least I knew she was still alive at the time of the message.
Third was from my sister telling me to call her right away. She sounded calm and composed, but that doesn't necessarily tell me anything.
I called Panamá a moment ago. Apparently, the messages were left last night. Since I slept with my phone turned on, they must have called while I was watching Patton and had left the phone in my room. (I am a light sleeper and would have been awakened had they called while I was sleeping.) That means it took 15-18 hours for the messages to reach my phone, hardly acceptable in the event of a family emergency.
My grandmother is still alive, but the outlook is not good. The infection in her bloodstream will not go away. Last night, when my mother called, the fever was hovering in the 102°-104° range. Her heart is enlarged and there is water surrounding it. But she manages to hold on.
I wonder how much longer, though. The earliest I could fly down is Wednesday. I would miss one night of the Opera Workshop, but I would only be missing one scene and wouldn't be letting down my colleagues as much. I have several deadlines at work this week, but to hell with them -- they'll have to deal if I have to leave. I can't let down my colleagues on Tuesday night, though. They've worked too hard.
My grandmother's 94th birthday is this coming Saturday. I wonder if she'll make it.