Yesterday happened so fast. I was at one of the many manager meetings on my calendar when my work cell phone vibrated incessantly for 5 minutes. Usually, my staff leaves a message and I call them back right away after the meeting. But this day was different. The hospital was calling, overhead paging me over and over again. There was a family emergency. I called the ER manager and she let me know that my uncle was brought into the ER and that the outcome "did not look good." As a nurse, I knew exactly what that meant. I rushed to the ER and find my aunt sobbing by my uncle's still body.
He was on his way to buy the morning paper while my aunt cooked breakfast. Things they do every day. Some of the neighbors found him and started CPR. Paramedics were called and he was intubated on site. They continued to attempt reviving him all the way to the ER. He had a massive heart attack and was probably dead before they found him. My aunt was notified that her husband was brought to the hospital and she followed.
I found her crying over hear husband's body. He was gone and he never said goodbye. She clung to me like a lost child who just found her mommy. What could I say? I am so sorry.
He was just going to get the paper. I was cooking breakfast. Last night, he held me and told me he truly loved me. We were looking forward to spending the whole day together. He took care of me. I am mad at him for leaving me without talking to me. He is gone. Forever.
My family came one by one and I watched my aunt unravel over and over again. I heard her say the same things to them. My head and my heart hurt. I am glad it is not me. What an awful thing to think.
The night before, my husband and I argued. Over something so stupid. Usually, I like to argue. I find it fun sometimes. I pick a fight sometimes. Knowing that beneath it all, our relationship is solid, that we could weather through anything, even stupid meaningless arguments.
It's no secret I like to be alone. Living with 4 brothers and sisters left me deaf and territorial. Nothing was ever my own. I must always share. And I must always fight over which television channel and radio station could drown out the other. I found myself like this with my husband. I needed me time. All the time. My husband understands this and encourages alone time. What a selfish brat. I never want to be THIS alone.
Last night, after they picked up my uncle's body, after the grueling appointment with the funeral home (please, just place me in a cardboard box and bury me in the backyard- I don't care), my aunt reminds me that I should take care of my husband, that I should treasure each and every moment with him. These moments might never happen again. Everyday things like getting a kiss goodbye before he goes to work, the feel of his hand on my hip when we fall asleep at night, the way he encourages my creativity, his reassurances that I am doing a great job at work, the way he embraces my family, the way he took on the role of full time dad with Junior, the fact that he filled my gas tank without being asked...I can list so many things that mean so little to other people but means oh so much to me.
Sometimes, I need a big swift kick in the ass to point me in the right direction. This was exactly that. Now to get my aunt through this...