I don't remember what I had for dinner two nights ago. I might be able to tell you what I wore two nights ago, but only if I dig through the laundry pile. Even then, it's iffy.
But I can tell you what I ate a year ago. I can tell you what I wore a year ago. I was wearing black yoga pants, an orange top, and a black sports bra. My customary post-work comfy clothes. We had spaghetti for dinner. We ate the spaghetti on yellow plates. Vividly, I remember this, yoga pants, uneaten spaghetti, yellow plates. The way the fork scraped across the plate as I cleared the remainders of dinner from the yellow plates into the garbage. The weather, eerily like today. Indian summer, blue skies, changing leaves and sunshine. Those stunning moments of clarity, broken by my husband shouting my name from the other room.
In six years of marriage and two kids, we don't use each other's names as much as we should. Him shouting my name should have been the tip off that something was wrong. My even-keeled husband raising his voice. I'm the shouter, the one who gasps with excitement, yells when startled, when I see a big spider. That's me, not him. Then there was the sound of his voice. Fear. And beneath it, an undercurrent of grief, of helplessness.
I froze for a minute, blinking like it was a dream. "I think he's choking!" And on the floor, a silent child with closed eyes, blue lips, and a pale face. On the floor, the scariest sight I've ever seen. Holding him, yelling for my husband to please call 911. Holding him, looking out the window like help would come dashing through at that minute. Holding him, in that one terrible moment actually thinking he was dying and wondering, wondering how on earth I could possibly go on. Then as teeth clamp down on my shaking finger, my finger trying to clear an already clear airway, the sudden smashing flashback to a red class cross, the instructor saying, "Never put your finger in the mouth of someone having a seizure. They'll snap their mouth shut on you." The purple-red angry teeth marks on my finger as I pried it out, "I think he's having a seizure, he's breathing, he's breathing, thank God, stay with me."
And he keeps breathing. Sometimes seizing. Mostly untroubled by being an epileptic two and a half year old. He'll never remember that night. Still, our lives changed, maybe just because we've never been so scared. Maybe we'll tell him about it. Maybe he'll outgrow all of this and we'll never have to tell him. But in my heart, I know that no matter how old I am, no matter how many troubles and losses I live, I'll never forget spaghetti on yellow plates.
Linked with Heather of the EO's Just Write