Despair and Hope
I heard you get in around midnight.
The dogs did their due diligence then scrambled back in bed.
I dozily called out and you said, “Goodnight. I love you, mama.”
“I love you too, Tay.”
Always let those be the last words you say to the ones you love
for they may, indeed, be the last words.
I did not see the despair.
How did I miss that?
But I felt it today.
Despair when I found your body trying to die.
Despair as I held your seizing body and could only think, “Airway.
Despair as I fumbled the phone with one hand thinking, “911
– goddammit, that’s all you have to manage.”
Despair as the line rang while I repeated my address over and
over in my head so I wouldn’t forget it.
Despair at uttering the words,”Possible overdose.”
And when you stopped seizing and fell silent in my arms …
eternal, breath-stopping seconds of despair.
And then you took a breath …
And the flashing red lights arrived …
And this morning as I stare at you sleeping peacefully,
thanking God you’re still here,
the sunrise view from ICU 220