Waking up early is not something I like, but the buzzing of my mobile was relentless. OK, ok it is time.
And so there I was – sitting snugly in one corner of the grey Innova, quietly eating the Toblerone I found in my purse – triangle by triangle. No breakfast, so this should do until we get to that place in the mountain.
For someone who does not like waking up early, I love the early morning sun light. Its gentle rays bring a peaceful feeling. My sun light. I sigh. This is going to be a good day.
I find myself lazily watching stretches of green – mountain, valley, trees — all green, made even more green by the light of the early morning sun. Yes, this is going to be a good day. I smile.
Soon enough we are going up a driveway – finally, the house on top of the mountain. It is an old house. Wooden staircase, wooden empty antique cabinets lining the second floor wall that do not seem to match the concrete veranda the hallway leads up to. More trees, more greens, more alive, more vibrant now in the light of the mid-morning sun.
And so there I was, once more, sitting with the rest in a wood panelled room, going through the rest of the day talking about big hairy audacious goals. Yes, this is going to be one wild roller coaster ride with everyone committing to buckle up to ride the loops and the dips.
I look at my watch. I smile. Our work for the day is done. I sigh. I stand up and look out, it is starting to get dark.
I check my mobile phone. Missed calls – a lot of them. My heart beating fast. I return the calls. My calls are not being picked up. I keep calling. No reply. My heart now racing. There is a feeling of dread as the night totally blacked out any trace left of my sun light.
Finally a voice on the other end of the line, “. . . have been trying to call you . . . seizure, stroke . . . unconscious . . . ambulance” I can barely hear the words over the ringing in my ears. I look around and there is nothing to see – what used to be green and vibrant is now black and heavy and lifeless. I blink my eyes and there are no tears.
I climbed the grey Innova confused. I look around and it is still black. After sometime, I look up with a pleading in my heart and I saw twinkling lights – stars, they seem so near. I have not looked at stars in a long time. I never imagined that the twinkling stars in the dark sky can calm my heart.
And then more glaring lights as we drove on, man-made ones that brought a familiar everyday feeling.
I am talking to my angel . . . “Babe, please watch over her, please . . .”
And so there I was, again, the sterile smell of the hospital overwhelms me. I know it is late. I find myself in the elevator repeating a number in my head over and over again because my mind refuses to think of anything else. The number is where I will find her.
But she is not there. She is in this room that has three letters – ICU. I dread these letters. These letters took away whatever little strength I kept in the drive from the house on the top of the mountain to this room.
I heard a voice, “ . . . she is sleeping, stable now”. I will not get to see her tonight.
The next days were touch and go – heartbeat suddenly dropping, assisted breathing . . .
I find myself talking to my angel more, I retreat to this space where only I can go. I cannot feel anything. I am present and yet not present where I need to be. I cannot find my sun light. There is no soft light that warms.
We are in this small charming chapel of roses for mass in a language and tradition that is forgotten by many. This has become a place of peace for me. I pray for strength here. I talk to my angel here. “Please continue to watch over her . . .”
And so there I was, finally, slowly opening the door stamped with this number I kept in my head. I see her half lying down and half sitting. She has a smile on her face, a smile that widened when she saw me. Trying to fight back tears, I go to her and kiss her and sigh a prayer of thanksgiving as I hold her hand.
As I sit down, I feel the light of my sun returning. “No, do not buy flowers”, she tells me. “I need disposable diapers . . .” And I know it is going to be OK.
Like you Home, I am also here to write. Only, this piece is not a creative exercise.
I am back.