Thankful Thursday: Mending a Broken Heart

He walked in the door from basketball not feeling like himself. “My heart is beating out of my chest,” he told me. I looked at him, and thought to myself “This is really happening.”

 

I rushed upstairs grabbed the bottle of Asprin and shakily poured some water into a glass. He took the pill and went to rest. When I checked on him five minutes later, I could see the erratic pulse in his neck vein.

 

This wasn’t good.

 

I ordered him to go to the ER.

 

Me being the shitty wife, made him drive himself. I’m not sure why, I just thought who would watch the kids, and I can’t take kids to the ER. Yeah, my brain wasn’t functioning.

 

While he was gone I filled my time with laundry, cleaning and organizing. Basically anything that would take my mind off the possibility that he was having a heart attack.

 

I rationalized with myself, he said his arm didn’t hurt and he didn’t have chest pains. So, hopefully it was nothing major. Maybe just dehydration or he didn’t eat enough that day.

 

Then the text came. “They are keeping me overnight,” it said. “I have AFib.”

 

What?

 

I’m not a cardiologist.

 

What the heck does that mean?

 

I head to Google and started pouring over every medical article, trying to learn more.

 

My head starts to explode from all the information and implications. I can’t read this; it’s too real, too scary.

 

Once he’s settled in a room he asks me to bring him the necessities – a phone charger, the iPad and some toothpaste.

 

I start packing the bag and am strongly reminded of the times I needed to pack my dad’s bag during his hospital stay. I add some flannel pants, socks and a sweatshirt, because I remember my dad always complaining how cold the hospital rooms were.

 

The moment I stepped foot into the hospital my own heart started beating hard and heavy. The last time I was there, I watched my dad die. This isn’t something I wanted to remember, not at a time like this.

 

Making my way through the maze of hospital rooms I finally find my husband. He looked normal if I were to ignore the ugly hospital gown and the wires attached to his chest. The EKG flowed like a rollercoaster, one minute up and down the next.

 

I could see with my own eyes his broken heart.

 

Broken Heart

 

This was happening.

 

It was real.

 

We ate pasta, and watched the football game. He complained about being bored and that his roommate might have the flu. I told him that he couldn’t leave me, he joked about his life insurance. The way he always jokes when he’s uncomfortable. I told him no amount of money would take his place, and we want him with us forever. The conversation quickly shifted to the boys, and simple things because neither of us could fathom the thought of life without the other.

 

I had to leave; it was time to get the boys ready for dinner and bed. Life still needed to keep moving even though I wanted to remain in that room with him. Normalcy was the key to coping.

 

My night was fitful and my morning hectic as always. The boys were full of questions and wanted to know where daddy was. I tried to explain that his heart was broken and the doctors were fixing it. But then someone said fart and they became distracted. I tried not to let their lack of empathy and interest bother me, but it did.

 

Why can’t they understand?

 

Because they are kids my rational brain shouted.

 

Yes, they are only kids and their dad still had so many memories to make with them. “Please let it be nothing,” I pleaded to the skies above.

 

The skies answered my pleas.

 

During the night my husband’s heart found its rhythm. In the morning he spent the day having tests, and his heart passed with flying colors. We were in the clear.

 

It was a fluke.

 

He would be with us forever.

 

Memories can still be made.

 

His heart will beat on.

 

Family

 

email

Throwback Thursday: Writing Me

Three years ago I was part of a fantastic group of writers. We shared our thoughts on life over at Bigger Picture Blogs. The Blog is long gone, but the premise behind it still remains. One our collaborative writing projects was based on a meme called Where I’m From

So, for those of you who are new-ish to my blog, here’s a glimpse of me.

 

**

 

I am from river cities and small towns with corn fields as far as the eye can see.

 

From Chewy Chips Ahoy cookies with a tall glass of cold milk and Happy Joe’s taco pizza with Whitey’s ice cream for dessert. From plastic horses that galloped like wind and from Barbies with pink sports cars and stacks of Golden books.

 

From duplexes, apartments, fixer uppers and zero lots with old friends for neighbors.

 

I am from the sweet smell of lilacs in the springtime and the smiling faces of pansies blooming in the summer sun. From lilly pads in garden ponds brimming with shimmering goldfish.

 

From strong stubborn Germans and blond haired, blue eyed Swedes. From a single dad and a remarried mother. From step families knitted together by love and circumstance.

 

I am from Fate and faith and the belief in things bigger than myself.

 

I’m from mega shopping trips with my grandmother and learning everything I know about gardening from her. From singing to the Grease soundtrack into my hairbrush and creating dance routines to TV commercials.

 

I’m from salisbury steak TV dinners with my dad while watching The A-Team and Magnum PI, and from daddy daughter nights at girl scouts.

 

From knee boarding on the Mississippi behind my stepdad’s fishing boat and baiting hooks to fish for blue gill.

 

From being called an over emotional spaz, geek and overall nerd. From finding myself in my twenties and rising above all labels. From being unique and an individual. I’m from overcoming negative thoughts and worries. From surviving abuse and eating disorders and finally being comfortable in my own skin.

 

I am from dreams and passions yet to be discovered. From traveling the journey of life and anticipating the excitement it will bring.

Bigger Picture Moment: 41

They say “age is just a number.” I believe this statement to be true. However, there are moments like when my knees creak as I walk up the stairs, or when I fall asleep with mouth agape while watching TV. When my laugh lines seem more pronounced and the oldies station is playing songs from the 80’s.

 

This is 41

You know you are old when you fall asleep tailgating.

 

Those are the moments I feel old.

 

Ancient.

 

Obsolete.

 

I turned 41 today. I’m on the other side of the hill.

 

Each birthday I take moment, breathe deeply and assess my place in the universe. I remember thinking at the tender age of 18 that 40 seemed crazy old. According to my 18 year-old self I’d be retired by now with grandkids and a beach house. If only … although not the grandkids those can wait a bit.

 

Forty – one might not be old, but I have seen so many changes in the world – the invention of the Internet, the devastation of 911, TMZ used as a credible news outlet, gay marriage and the legalization of pot.

 

As the world around me grows and expands, so do I.

 

I grow older, and hopefully wiser.

 

Age really is just a number, the measure of a person’s life isn’t just in how many years they have lived and breathed on this earth.

 

I will never stop wearing hot dog t-shirts no matter how old I am.

I will never stop wearing hot dog t-shirts no matter how old I am.

 

It’s measured in …

 

Forty-one years of laughter, and the chiseled lines to prove that yes life can be downright hilarious. So hilarious you might even pee your pants, which is what happens when you’re old.

 

Creaky knees, because they have led me across many a finish line.

 

The times I’ve fallen asleep in my chair each night because it means I’ve lived a full life that day.

 

Those days when a radio station plays my favorite song from 80’s because who doesn’t love a dance party in the kitchen.

 

All week my husband has asked what I wanted for my birthday. I replied with a smile and shoulder shrug, because after 41 years I have everything I need right here.

 

This is 41

 

Home  About   Project GROW  Back to Top…