One day, I decided to go through what I didn’t want to keep… because I felt lost. I put on some old music, I went up into the attic of memories. I sought to remember what I forgot. The things that I didn’t purposefully or intentionally forget. At first I felt nostalgic. I felt they breeze on the country wind on my face, and I smelled the evergreens. I remembered the old pickup truck, and the dusty dashboard. It was fun at first.
As the songs played, I unpacked more boxes of the past. I forgot that my mind held all of this storage. I found an old diary, I flipped through the pages. I began to cry. As the 90s country ballad played, I cried. I cried for my sister. I cried for my mom. I cried for myself. But I didn’t cry for my dad, I remember his disappointment when he looked across the table. Not at me, but at her. I could still see my sister’s wet eyes and red face as she pretended that the words that our father said didn’t hurt. I remembered the fights. The arguing. The yelling. I recalled all of the years. All of the hard years.
I remember the confusion. I felt the loneliness. The pitch black loneliness. I remember the nights where I layed awake. I was uncertain about the future, uncertain about tomorrow. I remembered the depression. My pillows were tear-stained, I remembered the moist fabric on my cheek. I remember running out of the house and into the field by the road. The walls of the house restrained me in a way that I couldn’t even breath.
I was wrong. I did purposefully and intentionally forget those things. I packed them away and stored them as if they were never a part of my life. I pretended that they weren’t there, although the memories always were there in the corner of my eye. They were there in the corner of my mind. I never did want to remember, and I never will want to remember. But I never can truly forget.
I have accidentally stepped away from writing for a while. Pursuing extra career certifications has left me spending more time in cardiac textbooks. I am also studying Spanish. Learning a new launguage is rewarding and then extremely frustrating and vise versa. Winston Churchill once said “I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught”. Oh, how there is truth in that! If I could just get the knowledge without the effort then that would change everything. But truthfully, where is the fun in that?
In order to maintain my sanity in this ride called life and with a demanding job, I must maintain my priorities. I need to keep God at number 1, I need to spend quality time with my family, and I need my creative outlet. So, I must write on.
I am a Christian woman, a medical worker, an artist, a wife. I am adventurous, nervous, brave, happy, and depressed. I feel a lot, I feel too much. Sometimes I don’t feel enough. I am often happy, giddy, and sad. I am scared to love but I fall so hard. Change is hard but staying put is harder. I am saved. I am free. I am beautiful. I am me.
What are the odds that I would find you? Or that you would find me? Luck isn’t that lucky, and happenstance isn’t that timely. In the midst of busy schedules and separate lives, we ended up meeting. And then we met again, and ran into each other another time. We talked, we laughed, we learned about each other. And although I wasn’t thinking about anything other than friendship, you saw me. You liked what you saw. After a while, I couldn’t get you out of my head either. That was three years ago. Three of the greatest years of my life. Who’s to say what is meant to be, if soul mates are real, and if there is “only one”. I don’t know those answers. But I do know that there is only one for me, and that’s you. I love you my friend. My joy. My husband.
Working in a hospital changes a person. Suffering, pain, and disease are a common theme. I walk into a room to see a man who looks like he is in death’s doorway. One foot in, one foot out. You know that he will need to close the door behind him at some point. Lives are so fragile, so tender. We are easily broken. In an instant things can change and our worlds could fall apart. This day, this moment, is all that we have. We often aren’t promised tomorrow. The plans that we make can fall apart like a sand castle when the tide comes in. We are like children, hoping that the building that we created would stand the test of time, only we end up watching it break and give in to the wave. Oh how fragile our lives are. Enjoy the moment that you have. Thank God for it. Breath in the fresh air and feel the ground underneath your feet. Look at you loved ones, really look at them. Forgive and let go of the chains that keep you hostage. Let go of bitterness. Fall to your knees, because we are stronger on our knees in prayer than when we try to stand alone. Tell people what they mean to you, because we do not know which breath is our last. We do not know which words will be our final ones. Enjoy the moment, because that is all that we really have.
You get quiet. Your heart rhythm has changed, the alarms go off. The crash cart gets wheeled in, and CPR has started. There is yelling, and more nurses come. I am just focused on your face though. I was just talking to you, how could this happen so quickly. Your body bounces from the shock as the paddles hit your chest. A doctor runs in and my view is blocked. I am pushed out of the room. I was taking up needed space, and I know that. I just wish that I could help. I wish I could shake you and tell you to wake up, to come back. I want to yell at you, and want to yell at them. I want them to try harder. I want the monitor to show a normal heart beep. I wish I could look through the doorway and see the nurses smile, I want people to leave the room, and for the doctor to give a sigh of relief and say “he’s back”. But that isn’t happening. The door opens and your bed gets pushed through to the hallway. They wheel you away at a run. And you are gone. Will you come back? The look on the doctor’s face tells me no. Later he will say that they tried everything. He will say that there was nothing more that they could have done, that your heart was just too weak. I just wish that I could go back to the moment before it all happened. When we were talking about Hospital discharge, about going home. When we were laughing and discussing the new dog, the upcoming holidays, and how much we would miss great grandma at Christmas this year. I want to go back before 12:47 pm, back before the light left your eyes. I wish I could go back. Back before you died.
I miss it. It was my fault that it left, and I know that. I was too busy and the days were too short to give it much attention. Slowly I began to realize that it no longer was a part of everyday. Where did it go? It was just gone. Maybe I lost it when I began checking social media on a way-to-regular basis. Maybe it was when the TV commanded my attention every evening after work. Perhaps I dropped it when I couldn’t say no to anyone and was going everywhere at once. Either way, it is gone. I need to find it again. Reclaim my sanity and calm my life. I have been living on fast forward and I need to press the pause button, or at the very least watch my life in real-time. I need to stop. I need to find it, I need to find my quiet moment.