There are a lot of things about that Saturday that I remember very clearly. Most of them small details. I remember that for some reason when we went to the emergency room I was fixated on finding the best parking spot closest to the entrance and drove back and forth twice trying to find the best place. I’m not sure why I had this fixation though looking back I think I must have known that if and when I stopped the car the real “ride” was going to begin.
Apparently, when you are having a heart attack you become impatient with
people fixated with trying to find the perfect parking spot because after about
45 seconds of my wandering Brennis yelled, “Stop the car”. I did. Brennis got
out and I parked the car in the nearest space and followed him.
The other thing I remember very clearly is that when we walked through the
door to the emergency room there was nobody there but the nurse doing intakes.
Mind you, this was 10:00 on a Saturday morning. Any other day at any other time
this emergency room is filled with people. Dozens and dozens of people with
pained faces, swollen kneecaps, bleeding foreheads, you name it. This
morning….nothing. Just the nurse.
Now I understand that even if the room had been full, Brennis would have
gotten right in to see the doctor since he was experiencing heart attack
symptoms but we didn’t have to wait even one second to get his assessment. I
realized even then that there was something eerily scripted about that
particular detail. It was as if we were living in somebody’s story of what
happened and all of the messy details had been cleaned up.
There were many moments like that during the time when Brennis was in the
hospital. Small details that were similar to the feeling of deja vu (but not
quite). It felt to me like the universe (or God or whatever you want to call it)
was trying to say to me….”It’s okay. This is supposed to happen like this”.
It was probably this thing that gave me the most peace throughout the next
week and afterward. Brennis was extremely calm throughout his time in the
emergency room but occasionally would apologize to me or ask me “what if……(I’m
having a heart attack; my blood pressure doesn’t go down; I have to have
surgery). I knew he wanted me to say, “It’s going to be alright.” but I
couldn’t. I didn’t know that. All I knew was that this was supposed to happen
like this. I would look at him and say “If that happens then we will deal with
it and move on”. It wasn’t the cliche he was looking for but it seemed to calm
him. Turns out he was feeling the same thing I was feeling….but his reality was
much more acute than mine and he was allowing fear to close his mind to it
What I have discovered since this happened is that I get that feeling a
lot….almost every day. It’s that feeling that everything is very familiar and
safe….that your body is planted in space exactly where it feels right. I don’t
think I am feeling these things because I went through this experience last
year. I believe, however, that I am more open to knowing that feeling because of
it. Because I know it is possible I allow myself to experience it. Otherwise
it’s simply a moment.
When I was in college I wrote a poem that just popped into my head as I am
All of them go treading about
in their beliefs
avoiding the spash of passing cars at bus
folding newspaper hats
with spoiled faces
I sit here behind my drapes
unfolding my umbrella
knowing not that rain
is falling now
but that it has
and that it will again.
That’s how I spent a lot of my life….sitting behind my drapes assuming the
worst was out there. It really wasn’t helping me be or do anything. Since I’ve
opened the door I feel more at home with myself…more comfortable and even though
i know that sometimes it does rain at least my door is open. And sometimes the
rain isn’t so bad…..and when the rain goes away, thankfully, now I know.