Austen wakes in the wee hours, before we see the first hints of sunlight creep through the bedroom shades. I leave her room, hardly able to keep my eyes open. But when I return to bed, pull the sheets and the comforter up to my chin, releasing the sigh that means I'm settling in, sleep still doesn't come.
My Dad had a heart attack on Monday. A hundred and one little miracles later, and he's still with us.
If just one little thing had gone differently that day ...
But it didn't. It didn't, I remind myself, attempting to avoid long, imaginative trips into a nightmarish might-have-been. It is what it is (sedation, wait-and-see, we don't know yet), but those short forays into the hypothetical nightmare remind me to fall on my knees thankful for this limbo.
And here I am, over three thousand miles away. I could do no more were that geographical gap closed, and yet the knowledge that he's far away in a hospital bed has me searching airfares, considering any and all means of traversing the distance between us.
I fell apart last night, thinking of how I want him to get better, of how I wanted him to wake up so I could hear the laugh that I could identify blindfolded out of a thousand laughs in a crowded room. I thought of how the last thing I talked to him about was our malfunctioning fridge, leaking water all over our kitchen floor. Did I tell him I loved him before I hung up?
So it's early, and these tears prick, this lump hurts my throat. Driving home yesterday, I saw dark and ominous storm clouds on the horizon and right in the midst of them, those illuminated by the sun, shafts of light boldly piercing through the spaces between the bulbous tufts of white.
Yes, I thought. This is what this is: the storm and the sunlight, all in the same view.
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Updates on Dad's recovery HERE