You Fool Yourself
You fool yourself. You believe you’re safe. You believe there’s time. More time.
You should know better. Life has revealed her truth to you many times. And yet, it is easy to forget. And in some ways important to forget. Life would be too raw, too frightening, too blindingly stark, and we might be paralyzed with fear. Too afraid to move, to choose, to dare, if every moment reminded us in a harsh light how quickly it could be taken away.
And so, even those of us who have seen it before—who carry it inside with our DNA—still allow ourselves to think there will be more time.
And then Thursday happens.
And you’re calling an ambulance, and they put the love of your life onto a gurney and whisk him away. And you get in your car living up to your life’s training in dealing with tough stuff while fighting the fear you won’t get to the hospital in time.
You make it to his room where you find him in a bed, hooked up to monitors, answering “nine” to the question “on a scale of one to ten how much pain are you in?” And you know a nine for him would be a 20 for anyone else.
And they shuttle you out of the room while they take an X-ray. And you wait alone in the room while they take a CT Scan.
And you’re with him when the surgeon arrives and says it is bad. It is very bad.
And you walk with his bed as they roll him to surgery and wait with him and make jokes so he’ll smile, then kiss him with what you hope won’t be your last I love you and watch as the doors close behind him.
And you wait in a room to hear. And the call comes that the laparoscopy showed it was bad and they’ll have to cut him open.
And you wait. And your body turns to quivering jello.
And the doctor comes and says, it was very bad. And the doctor says your husband would have died.
And the next day, the doctor says he was two hours from death. And the doctor can’t guaranty it won’t happen again.
And the shield of a soft spot to land is gone.
And so, you do the only thing you can do—you are grateful for every moment and over and over again you tell your husband, “I love you.”