I’m standing in the kitchen, my hands dripping wet, the water still running in the sink… but I’m standing in the middle of the kitchen. I lost it. What was I doing?
Tears start at that moment. They pour over my eyelids and down my cheeks even before I feel the sob rising in my chest.
“I’m taking your mom to the ER,” said my dad.
“Better to be safe then sorry. I’ve learned that lesson,” said my mom.
They are gone now, driven off to the hospital’s emergency room. It’s late. Too late to be doing dishes… or whatever it was I’d been doing. The sink is empty. Why is the water running?
The tears flow. I just stand there and drip.
My husband walks in, asks me if I’m okay, takes the dishrag that I’d forgotten I was holding. Something inside me clicks. I’m fine. Yes, I’m okay, I tell him and I leave the room. I’ve got to move. To do something – to keep moving.
But I can’t. The tears keep getting in the way. Lay down, says my husband. He is all gentleness and smiles. And I love him. But I feel like throwing up, and crying, and sleeping, and screaming. I snap at him – something ugly leaves my lips. He just hugs me. Says, “I get it.”
And, he does. Of all people, he really does get it.
But I don’t.
I cry. I just let it flow out. Another hour passes and there’s no word from my dad. Nothing. My parents are private people, but the void of communication scratches red gashes on the inside of my mind… grooves where a lot of unwelcome “what ifs” hold a meet-n-greet. I cry some more.
Finally I ask – any word? My dad responds – just waiting. Mom’s still sitting beside me. They took her stats though.
Unexpectedly relief floods me. I want to giggle. If they are still waiting then obviously there’s no emergency… right? Right?
The happy “what ifs” get all miffed at their meet-n-greet being interrupted. They dance a jig called, Look At Me! I pull up Netflix instead. My phone in my hand, awaiting the next text.
My mother was just released from the hospital. She had nearly died. Now she was back in the ER just a mere 3 days after she’d been released. Did I really know what that meant? Had I really taken seriously how serious things were for her? What have I done differently in the last 3 days to make the most of this precious time on earth? Have I changed? Am I still taking life for granted?
My mind races, my heart races… it seems that everything in me races while everything around me has dropped into slow speed. Guilt, joy, anger, hope, fear, victory… if emotions could be seen like light I’d be a flashing strobe! I can’t get anything to stick or settle.
My mom is fine. She came back from the ER within hours. My mom is fine.
If my mom is fine, why am I so off kilter?
I keep hearing that my mom’s life was spared because she has unfinished work here on earth, and how God uses all things for the good of those who love Him, and how one positive things after the other will come from all of this for her. I agree!
But a voice inside me screams, what about me?
It’s like the rolling after-quakes of an earthquake… that’s me right now. My mom survived. We all did. But I’m still rolling with the quaking… the smallest thing sends me into a whipped up emotional mess. Or I’m left staring blanking at the person asking me a question, unable to coax my thoughts up to speed with the conversation at hand.
I lost the puppy, and I nearly lost the toddler who decided to go find the puppy. I caught him tromping down the road… only half dressed and all by himself. And me? I was standing in the wide open window with my shirt pulled up around my neck trying to nurse my newborn who was screaming while he filled his diaper as I yelled over the top of it all for my toddler to get his behind back inside RIGHT THIS MINUTE. The best part of the show being all the neighbors outside enjoying the sunshine jumping out of their skin at the sound of my voice and craning around to gape up at me. My response? I just laughed hysterically… Later, shirt on properly, puppy found, toddler safely dressed and on his bed, I looked down at my newborn, his smile lit up and I burst into tears.
Not that scenes like this couldn’t happen any other normal day of my life… but I don’t typically loose things, let-a-lone puppies and kids. Nor do I usually laugh hysterically at myself when I’ve just given the neighborhood a peep show – well, lets just say I don’t usually give peep shows! I don’t normally burst into tears at the smiles from my baby either.
I feel like things have gone from processing to madly trying to find my feet and keep my footing in the wake of nearly missed tragedy. Few things are adding up – few things are in proportion right now.
If I can get through this day with my shirt down and my kids all found…