Thursday, July 2, 2015

no one calls with good news at midnight

the phone rings.   at first, not sure if it's a dream or if i am waking up to the sound.   no, the phone is ringing.   it's past midnight, there is only one possibility.  please let it be a prank call.  please let it be a wrong number.

hello?
this is the doctor at the hospital, can i speak to your husband please?
no.   i'm sorry.   he's sleeping.   (maybe if i delay it, it will be a dream and i will wake up.  i don't want to hear what you are going to say.   i'm sorry, you can't talk to him because i know what you are going to say.   no.   it hasn't happened.   no.   it isn't time.   no.   no.   no.)
it is really important, may i speak with your husband, please?
i...um.... (no!   no you can't!   no!   not yet!   one more visit.   one more book read to the grandkids.  one more . . . .no!) . . just a moment

i am not sure where i am while the phone call takes place.   i know what the doctor is saying without hearing it.   he asked to not be brought back again.   he was ready, i was not.

a phone call to the brother.   he is sure he will still be there in the morning and wants to wait.   surely he can wait to die until tomorrow.   can't he wait until tomorrow?   no, he is gone.   without permission, he has gone.   they make the trip to the hospital.   one was just  there a few hours ago.   just an hour before it happened, two hours before it was discovered by the shift nurse.    the other had always planned on going the next day.   the next day was now gone too.

i call my mother to cry and wonder.  

a few years ago, i didn't want to be around him.   a few years ago, we were at war.  now, i can't even believe or even really remember the feelings of so long ago.  now, i just want another chance to say "i love you".  it was only a day since i last looked into his eyes and said, as though i knew it would be the last, "i love you very much.   we love you so very much".   i knew at that moment, and the look in his eyes said he did as well, it would be the last time he would say, " you too".

the next day, the children cry.  one more book, one more time to tell opa their stories of adventure from the day.   one more time to hear their opa say they are doing well in school and be good.  see one more pride filled smile, one more joke and laugh together.   one more time to push his chair down the hall and pretend they are a race car.   one more time to hug him.   one more time, it was only the day before, but one more time.

two brothers miss their father.   
one rejoices that he had so much time with him.  the other regrets that there is no more tomorrows.  
one reflects over pictures and memories.   the other is given pictures because he has none of his own.
one knows that separation is short.
one built a relationship.
one found joy.
one heard "you too" only because he said "i love you".