What an amazing week, and....I can't believe I'm saying that, of course, after all that has transpired, but life is but grist for the mill of art, thought, and passion, right? Well, then, I drew the winning hand...
Those of you who read my last post heard me waxing lazily on resting up after our annual Belgian Day celebration, and the cleanup be damned. Hind sight being 20/20, my husband's willingness to be a complete layabout on Sunday should have set alarms off in my head, but my radar wasn't operating and I simply let things be.
M O N D A Y M O R N I NG...
I hear Alain coming upstairs, and recognize the familiar creak of his leather desk chair behind me. I am glued to client emails, and toss out a comment, to which there is no response. Another...no response. At this, I wheel around in my chair and say, "What's up...aren't you talking to me?" The look on his face is enough to tell me today is spinning out of control very, very fast. He looks me in the eye and confesses to some pretty out of control internal bleeding. I click onto that person that resides in all of us and take charge. We are at the ER within a half an hour.
The hours spent there are somewhat fruitful, but I can't believe they are sending us home with a couple of phone numbers and a blood test. I dial. They answer. I don't like the answers. They can't see him until October. He'll be dead be then if the bleeding doesn't stop. They've said we can come back. Do I want to? We wait out the day, and count the grisly trips to the bathroom. In the middle of the night, we sit on the edge of the bed and wonder how you get here.
In the cool light of morning, I collect the phone number of a friend who is a VP at a local hospital. Not as local as our own, but close enough. I ask Alain if he wants to call the ER again, or call Pat. "Call Pat," he says, and somehow that is more scary than reassuring, me knowing too well that he would rather do anything than go to the hospital.
Pat takes charge. Trust me, if you ever find yourself in this position, you want to have a Pat at your back. Within an hour, we are standing at the door of the emergency department, where Dawn had been waiting for us. Alain waits only three minutes for me to finish the very abbreviated paperwork and is taken into triage, and then into the ED, where Pat has arranged for the chief of staff to see him. My wonderful neighbor Dawn stays with us for hours, and in fact, after I leave to run the office, stays with Alain until he is placed in a room and I am only minutes away on the round trip of a track I will run for the rest of the week...
Rounds and rounds and rounds of tests ensue. They're great doctors, nurses and friends. They don't pull punches and we try not to pull a snow job on ourselves. Nobody bleeds like that for no reason. Monday was the worst...I totally lost my mental and emotional compass and operated out of fear. Tuesday, we at least feel like we have someone at our back on this thing.
I cancel Open Studio, the first time ever. It sounds so final, and I feel so bereft. I have become so used to recharging my creative and emotional batteries with these women, that it is a luxury I am loathe to forego, but I know in my heart, we are no where close to closure on this issue. I initial the email and click "send immediately." It is done.
What ensues is something so wonderful, so unexpected that I am overwhelmed. Emails keep appearing in my queue. I am lifted up, buoyed by the thoughts and prayers of the women I know. I have no reason to believe it will all be all right, except that it all seems doable. Every shift of work or mad dash to the hospital is bracketed by someone emailing me their support, their prayers, their shoulder to the wheel of what has become my week. I suddenly know that this is much bigger than me, than us, than sleeping (or not) and keeping going, even if blindly.
And so, this week did pass. I shared hugs and kisses, I buried my head in shoulders that were much stronger than mine for a time, and I had the temerity to let them be, which is something for me. We inched forward, out of the dark and into the light, shedding sentences that would have changed our life forever, and taking on instead probabilities...a little easier to handle, and finally, possibilities, which we can all live with.
Tonight, I have my husband here with me again. The tests aren't over, the trials have only begun, but we are a family again, and I have been apprised by one who knows better than I that I should never question the strength of love, and support, and belief.
Last night Nathalie and I came home from the hospital to find a small group of neighbors pacing in front of the house. I don't know how long they had been there, but they were there, waiting to hear. To hear the best, or the worst...they didn't know any more than I did what it might be, but they were there.
I know that time and space and all those important things will intervene between me and these moments and feelings and this particular time, but I hope that I don't forget these lessons, especially the ones that are earmarked with the names of the women who gathered around me at this time. There is, most definitely, something to be carried forward from this day, that speaks of promise, of hope, and the strength we have to share.
Sending my love to you all, Nancy