I 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.