I could write about…

slice-of-life_individualI could write about the text I got that morning at school. About the frantic follow-up phone call. About throwing things in my bags, tapping someone to cover my class, and racing out the door.

I could write about the drive to the Emergency Room. About saying aloud to myself over and over again, “It’ll be okay. Just drive carefully. It’s snowing. Don’t go too fast. Everything will be okay.” About how my heart was lodged in my throat, my hands gripped the steering wheel and my pulse raced. Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!

I could write about the large crow I saw as I drove past. Or maybe it was a raven. It sat atop an isolated tree by the road, hunched over, feathers ruffled, vaguely menacing. I swear it looked directly at me, and I actually wondered, “Is that an omen?” Then shook the thought off. Mostly.

I could write about arriving at the ER, seeing him, being with him, spending the day there. Hour after hour. Eight long hours. Beeping monitors. Medications. Scans. Tests. Fear. And once again, no answers.

I could write about going home. Waking to listen to him move restlessly from room to room. Watching him sleep. Listening to him breathe.

I could write about the next few days. The follow-up appointments. The ups and downs. An anxious early morning conversation with the on-call doctor. The support of friends and family. The ever-present fear. The ever-present questions. The bone deep weariness.

I could write about my first day back at school. How I felt sick to my stomach leaving. Terrified to be away. Apart. The ever-present visceral tug toward home–toward him–pulling tighter as the distance grew, knotting my stomach. About how at school I carried my phone everywhere I went, checked it obsessively. Jumped at slight sounds.

But instead, I’ll write about coming home after school at the end of that first day back. Driving quickly to get home as fast as I could. Then walking into the house and seeing him there–still breathing. Fine. Anxious, but fine.

And I exhaled.

Dropping my bags, I walked over and sat beside him on the couch. I pulled my legs up under me and tucked my head against his chest. He put his arm around me and pulled me even closer, resting his cheek on my head. I could hear the steady swoosh of his heartbeat, and it both unnerved and comforted me. We sat that way for long minutes, our eyes closed, leaning into each other. We didn’t say a word.

One precious moment carved out of all the chaos.

Yes, that’s what I want to focus on.

17 thoughts on “I could write about…

  1. Fran Haley says:

    A real slice of what was “almost” — something I know too well. Last summer police officer came to my house and asked if I had a way to the hospital where my husband had been taken (cardiac arrest while driving; his vehicle went into the woods).The longest walk I ever made was from the parking lot to the ER doors, not knowing … your words bring it back so vividly that I find myself nodding as I read. And celebrating – for my husband is alive and well, his heart repaired. I celebrate your togetherness and the heartbeat that you hear. Too precious for words, yes – I know.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. humbleswede says:

    Wow. The powerful refrain is like a heartbeat in this slice. The raven line is perfect. It captures the heightened senses and the heightened sense that everything might be significant in a moment like this. I let out a big sigh at the end, glad for your soft landing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your post left me with an ache inside. I immediately sent all of my hope and positive thoughts your way. I know that love. The love that was forged in so many years of Christmases and soccer games, budget woes and family vacations. The hope for the future and the gut punch of uncertainty. Here’s to every moment and so many more.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another classic MH piece! Love the construction of the piece. Love the love story nature of the piece. Love the message. Focus on the good the universe gives us! Thanks. I hope some publisher subscribes to your blog and gets it that this is a gem!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. margaretsmn says:

    Even though I knew the outcome, your writing drew me in and kept me on the edge of my seat, heartbeat racing, until the calm embrace. Then I was crying. Your writing is amazing!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. jcareyreads says:

    This piece brought me back to a similar experience we had with my dad six years ago. So many feelings. So much gratitude for that swooshing heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. […] out of control. I don’t need to go into details again, as I’ve already written about it here. At any rate, in the midst of it, I decided to try to write a ghazal (pronounced more or less like […]

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  8. Ramona says:

    Oh, I could just feel all your emotions as your wrote so movingly about this time. My favorite had to be that exhale and precious time together at the end of your first day back. Hoping you’ll get some answers soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. dmsherriff says:

    Jess had told me about this as she had read your it earlier this week…written in poetic real time. I could feel the tension, the chaos, the hope and then, the calm blanket of an exhale. Here’s to answers, health, and one day at a time.

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