Monday, February 28, 2011

The Goodbye of Expectation

Some of us know our spouses may never come home at the end of the day. Whether they are miners, officers, truckers, soldiers - we know they may never walk through that door again. Every morning begins with the dreaded expectation of becoming a widow by nightfall. The kiss at the door, as they walk out. The half-spoken prayer for their safe return. Each goodbye is more than a casual see-ya-later. Nothing is guaranteed. Nothing is promised. So we wait. And then the call comes.

And because we've often dreamed of it, we go through the motions automatically: pack the bags, give the kids instructions, crank the car, and drive to the ER. We tick off the list the ER nurse gave you:
the rig jack-knifed, flipped, and slid for 90 ft (what the ... but he's awake, cracking jokes - he's okay... he's okay...)
he was pinned for an hour (how much damage to his arms? legs?)
he has NO broken bones - but some fractures in his neck (will he be paralyzed?)
he was unconscious for nearly an hour (how much damage is permanent?)
he was life-flighted to the nearest hospital (OMG... can't even think about that one)
he had several lacerations on one side of his face (he's gonna look awful - I'll need to smile when I walk in that hospital room no matter what)

It was the longest 4 hour drive of my life.

Turns out, I'm stronger than I ever knew.

I smiled.




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