As I stumble forward on this quest of writing my book, I keep coming across certain “writings.” Like this one I’m sharing below:
I didn’t really document much back then or anything after either. I’m disappointed in myself about that. I can remember the moments, I still feel the pain in them. I remember doing nothing more than surviving. Not just the initial moment of impact but all the firestones thrown after. The hospitalization, intubations, illness, sadness, triumphs, happiness and fear.
This was my very first documented writing. I do remember writing it, I was sitting in Braden’s hospital room in ICU. It was April, Paul was back to work part time. The room was dimmed, door closed and Braden was napping as any 16 month old should be in the afternoon. I sat quietly on his windowsill. Usually once he’d fall asleep, I’d take that time to go to the cafeteria grab some lunch, stop at the little store and pick out some scratch tickets. Then i’d sit at the enterence of the hospital, eat my lunch, drink my tea and scratch my tickets while people watching.
Have you ever sat at the enterance of a hospital? Although you are surrounded by so many people coming and going, visiting, working, cleaning, crying, laughing and celebrating it has to be the loneliest place in the world.
I would sit right at the front of the doors, maybe subconsciously I was testing myself. It was daring sitting there so close to doors that could lead me to freedom. Those doors opening and closing constantly teasing me. It’s like they are willing me to leave, open, close, open, close..take the chance Chrissy when they open again..run!
I never ran~
I would never have run~
Sitting there on that little bench by myself gave me the opportunity to learn a lot. Observing people in their most vulnerable moments taught me so much about life. It was fascinating, I would listen to conversations about diagnosis, illness, death, birth, love and resilience. Some of the most courageous people I have ever witnessed stood 5 feet away from me, they didn’t know me, didn’t notice me but I was a part of their crisis.
Most times my heart broke for them, during those times when I would watch them cry and lean on one another I would sit silently and pray for them. I prayed for the strength they will need to endure the pain they were suffering. I was a small presence that they were unaware of silently fighting and willing for them to survive whatever pain they were experiencing.
In my mind, I was with them. I understood their pain, and I also knew they would survive. The hard part was understanding the road it was going to take to get there. Oh how the journey was going to shape their very existence, the people they are here in that moment will not be who they are once they leave this hospital for good.
I really liked seeing the happy people, the young set of parents leaving with their new baby. The congratulations balloons in tow, the pink or blue blankets and hats that protected and comforted the new bundle to joy. The overwhelming look of the new parents as they walk through those glass doors into a new world of uncertainty. Often I would wonder what their journey would be like. Would they ever find them selves wrapped in a tragedy like mine? I hope not~
Watching them leave was both happy and sad. How fortunate that they could leave this place and walk through those doors. They get to go home to their comfortable beds, watch their own TV’s and snuggle their new baby. Such a normal transition into parenthood that so many take for granted. I would never again take for granted the contentment of home or the luxury of sleeping in my bed, while snuggling my baby.
The hardest moments I found myself silently apart of was the deaths of family. Oh the sadness I have seen. You see it on TV, the families standing in a circle in the entrance of a hospital. All of them with red, swollen eyes, runny noses and sniffles. I have noticed during all my observations that in every group there is always the strong one. The one who doesn’t appear to be crying, fumbling with their car keys wanting to leave and guide their loved ones out through those glass doors. The one who is strong, wraps their arms around their family. Taking mental notes of the next step in planning a funeral. Then we had the one who appears to be the most distraught. The one where everyone is gathered around them, holding them up and whispering which I would guess much needed words of encouragement. The rest of the family standing silently, making uncomfortable eye contact knowing the next few days is going to be a whirlwind of pain and emotional discomfort.
I would sit there watching them trying to come to terms with their own struggles. Sitting so still not to take them away from their reality, I didn’t want them to notice me. I wanted to be invisible. I suppose a part of me knew that if they glanced my way, they’d see a young, quiet, girl sitting on a hospital bench with the same eyes they bore. Sad. They too would know I was there fighting a battle they knew nothing about. It would only make my situation real again, and for that hour a day when I was all alone I wanted to be invisible without any identity.
It seems so long ago, these words that I wrote. While reading it I still feel the desperation, fear and pain. The thing about tragedy is it changes you in so many ways. My whole life I have been cursed/blessed with the ability to know and feel pain in someone just by looking at them.
I’m so thankful I still have these little tid bits of writings. It’s so wonderful that I can look back and see how far we’ve come. How blessed we are. Those lonely lunch hours were moments of healing, becoming aligned with myself. The strength I restored sitting on that bench at lunch each day gave me the courage to keep moving forward. Gaining the courage to walk back down to the ICU dept and continue my role as mom, nurse, physical therapist, clown, wife and warrior~
Until next time my lovelies..