Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stations of the Cross to Bear

The process of getting to you was both one of steps taken individually and one of seeing nothing but the destination, which was your broken body lying in a cold place without your family.

To see you each day, I would get in the car, buckle the seat belt, pull out of the driveway, K-turn to the street heading in the right direction -- towards, away. I was always headed in the wrong direction for one of my babies and the right one for the other. Each step required sure footing (impossible) and my thoughts were both a precise recipe leading to you and an eye chart too far to make out, such was the state of my postpartum brain in survival mode.

Traffic lights were excruciating. Speed up to make the yellow. Force the car to stop for a red. Merging was an act of stoicism. No one needed their destination as much as I needed mine. If they could hear me crying, they would have known that. If they heard me screaming, they would have pulled over. I was the ambulance, such was my urgency.

And then, after elongated minutes of hurling myself around the ring road at destruction speeds, I could see the building. Here was the final test. Pull in to the parking garage. Get a ticket. Maneuver around other scared people in this obscurity -- the dimness of this structure, darkened by the smoked glass of the cars and the people inside could see even less, such was their anguish.

Around and around until I found a hole in which to leave my machine. Find that bridge from the parking structure to the place where some are getting sicker and where others are healed. Cross the bridge, and hurry down the stairs, incision burning, to the hall, to the elevator, up to the floor for very sick children, wait at the call box for admittance, briskly enter, wash my raw hands, ignore the stinging because it is a price and at least I have found one to pay. I want to pay, to make a deal (will you take my limbs?) and that burning is nothing, really, such is the futility of my negotiations.

To your bed and your sweet face. I am useless and this shames me, but I am with you now.

I would have paid but in the matter of your life and death, I had no form of currency.

1 comment:

  1. So different and yet so familiar.
    How I wish we'd had something to pay with.