A visit to the ICU

makes everything fall into perspective. In my tender-hearted state, it made sense that I come home before tonight’s campus event to feed the dogs and feed my soul by talking to two close friends–and shedding some tears. Some thoughts/images/memories:

  • tiger eyes, now glassy and somewhat sad, unable to look my way
  • so many machines and tubes and bandages. ventilators, monitors, liquids flowing in and out of so many places
  • jagged toenails
  • a mother’s lingering embrace
  • holding back tears
  • me telling his parents the story of the sophomore field trip to the vocational center: how he did a double-take when he saw me, how he said “you’re gonna hear me present,” how proud I was that he was the main student presenter
  • “Hey kiddo, you know I’m here for you just like I promised.”
  • talking about God with his dad
  • the silent prayers in my head
  • thoughts of my own loved ones
  • the realization that while I was enjoying a magical weekend, he was fighting to survive three surgeries
  • his mother stroking his forehead
  • his mother telling the head nurse my name, that I’m “phenomenal” and how I’ve “done so much for the family”
  • watching the machine breathe for him

I once hated this child. I thought he was a worthless criminal, a hardened thug. Lately, he’s been smiling and waving. I wonder if I will get to see him do that again. I pray I will.

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