FAWN FALL

My foot presses the gas pedal as the car quickly accelerates. I’m going too fast as usual, because I’m rushing somewhere like usual. The stretch of street whizzes past me, deep green lawns manicured to perfection, tall majestic trees stretch their limbs over the road like arms. The occasional minivan sits idle in the driveway waiting for school pickup and a grocery run. 

Around the next curve my foot slams on the brakes. “What the hell,” I shout, from checking off the To-Do list swimming in my head. The car in front of me, brake lights shining bright, has stopped in the middle of the road. No stop sign, no stoplight, no fellow car ahead to create this sudden halt to my rushing.

I’m about to lay on the horn when I see them. Off to my right is a buck looking across the street. It’s eyes intent, standing at attention, waiting. I follow his gaze and see her, a doe, running, leaping through the lanes of oncoming traffic. She quickly makes it to the other side, without incident and with grace like a ballet dancer. Once with her mate, she stays waiting.

That’s when I see it. A fawn, trying its darndest to follow in its mother’s footsteps. It starts strong, mimicking the same graceful running and leaping, but suddenly it falters. Losing its balance and stumbling. Its once graceful dance turning into a jumble of legs sprawled in the middle of the road. It reminds of the scene in Bambi when he steps onto the ice for the first time. Each leg spreading North, South, East, and West.

This is a Photo of a Fawn

“Get up!” I scream. As I see cars coming toward it. They can’t see the fawn struggling. They can’t see the panic in its eyes. My hand is on the door handle ready to jump out of the car and rescue it from certain peril.

The fawn stumbles. Legs buckle. Falling again.

The fawn stumbles. Legs buckle. Falling again. 

The fawn stumbles. Legs finally find their footing, and the deer is dancing and leaping again. It quickly reunites with its worried parents. Then in a blink, they were gone. Disappearing into the trees outstretched arms. 

Slowly, the car in front of me begins accelerating. I follow. My rushing seems silly now. The moment of urgency blurred by the celebration of the fawn’s achievement. 

My mind begins to wander and I started thinking about how we’ve all stumbled and fallen. How getting up can seem so freaking hard. Our feet just keep sliding out from under us no matter what we do. The ground seems precarious and it feels like at any moment we could be hurt or even killed (emotionally). Then just when we feel all hope is lost, our feet root into the ground and steady us. We move forward, running and leaping into the safety of shelter.

I’ve been that fawn both in the struggle and the success. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, I will never get used to, but I always survive. Obviously, because I’m here ready to take on another day. 

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

 

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