When the Heart Stops

The heavens had opened above us. Though we were inside, safe from the violent winds and cutting rain but we were not protected from everything.

As the clouds thundered above us and lightning struck out at the world with the might of Zeus, all I heard were screams.

A woman, a mother, my mother screaming for help as her husband fought for his breath beside her.

When I followed her calls I saw him in the shadow of the night. The lightning allowing me to see his convulsions. My mother screamed, my father seized, I called 9-1-1, and the heavens fell around us.

I don’t believe in God but serendipity seems too flimsy. I believe that almost everything has a meaning and a purpose. I don’t believe it was just luck that I had just arrived home the day before my father fell ill. I don’t believe it was just luck that we had other family at the house that night.

I was scared when I walked into the room, scared when I had to carry him from his bed, scared when he didn’t know the month.

I was terrified until he started to talk too much again. To be honest I am still terrified. I am far from him and I have no control over what happens, that is terrifying.

As the sun broke through the clouds that day I was sitting in a hospital waiting to know why it had happened. The memory of the hospital has already begun to fade but I still don’t know why, all I know is that I am grateful we were all there. As I sit in my office and work I can know that he is safe a million miles away.


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