It’s almost midnight and she lies in a hospital bed at the all-too-familiar emergency room. Tears emerge as the nurse pushes the needle into her arm – in order to find a “good” vain for the IV. This is the nurse’s second attempt, the first one only producing a puncture that will be sore for days.
As I look at my daughter, my mind keeps replacing her with Lisa. I touch Kelly to comfort her, but rubbing her cheek transports me back to four years ago and I’m in the same ER, looking at all the tubes and machines around my wife. The smell of disinfectant is still the same, it starts with a pungent odor you can taste in the back of your mouth and soon evolves to a smell that is disturbingly comforting.
We are a thin plane of glass and the death of a loved one is a rock hitting us square in the middle. Sure you can patch where the rock made the mark, but that won’t address the hundreds of spider cracks that have formed around the hole, finding its way to every corner of the plane, each crack a different issue. While Kelly’s ER visit turned out to be nothing more than a spastic stomach flu that anti-nausea medicine fixed, the whole experience had lasting effects that kept me up for more than a few nights. It looks like I haven’t fully addressed the last few weeks of Lisa in hospice.
So, if you see me walking down the street and I look like I am down. Chances are something happened that either reminded me of Lisa, or made me go back to a darker time. I hope my above story will explain that if you approach me, and say, “Why don’t you go to a movie, try to take your mind off things.” I may respond, “Okay, maybe I will,” but my face will show, “Thanks for trying, but there are still a few more spider cracks I need to repair that a movie won’t help fix.”