Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Just After


I called my sister in the middle of the night, on a wire stretching from one coast to the other. I stood in the dim hospital hallway leaning against the ICU nurses station, not looking back into the room I'd just left.

I told her that he died. I don't recall telling her that when we got the phone call at home we crammed in a car, flying over bumps and though lights, never seeing another vehicle. I don't recall telling her that we pulled up to the emergency room entrance, abandoned the car, doors ajar, and chased each other at full speed up two or maybe three flights of stairs.

I did tell her that he was still alive when we got there. I did tell her that we stood, touching a part of him- foot, shoulder, arm, hand, head. And that we prayed the Our Father for our father until he was done breathing.

I don't know what she asked, but I offered her what I thought I'd need if she were there and I was not.

6 comments:

Mia Goddess said...

Oh dear. My heart goes out to you, and your family. I'm sorry i'm sorry

Mrs. Chicken said...

Our stories are so similar. But in mine, I chanted the Hail Mary over and over.

I'm sorry. And I know.

Anna said...

Ah, Meg,

In my story I was the sister who was not there while the other five siblings were. I wanted to be there and I wanted not to be there. Pain is pain.

InTheFastLane said...

I am sorry for your loss.

Stu said...

How long has it been now? What's your perspective like now?

Also, but less important, your writing is golden.

Meg said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you.

Anna- I never thought about what it would have been like if I weren't there- well, I guess I have- but not in the context of how I might have experienced his death differently. It's true, pain is pain and well, it hurts.

Stu- 10 years, 11 months and 17 days. But who is counting? I am not sure how my perspective has changed. Except for the kid thing. I *hate* that my children do not know him or he them. If someone told me that my ache would still be so persistent and so strong after all of this time, I would not have believed it.

From a writer's perspective, writing about my father flows faster than any other topic.