Tuesday was the first time in a long time that I waited for Sam to get home from an activity with Sonzee's sister, so I could take little bear over to the ER. It had been so long, but the motions were so routine it was as if this was part of our daily schedule. The same wave of feelings crashed over me, which was basically a contradiction in and of itself; a slow motion out of body experience of not wanting to go, paired with the rush of having to get there before the stranger somewhere else in the Valley who was inevitably racing to beat me, so we could both "beat the rush". I have learned over the past 2 years and 8 months that it doesn't matter how long it has been since we have been to an ER, stayed in patient, gone for a routine appointment, the emotions and memories within won't ever go away.
You can literally see the top lights of the children's hospital from our street as you pull out of the driveway. The drive itself is at most 10 minutes covering 4.9 miles. Our house backs up to the freeway, so it only involves the street lights to get on and off, other than that it is a straight drive, 4 exits. There is no thinking involved, except for the thoughts that inevitably push their way to the front of my mind. The thoughts that bring the cloud of tears that I spend a good majority of my time pretending don't exist. The thoughts that tear at my heart and remind me that our life won't ever resemble typical.
It was how I scarfed down dinner and three children gave us both hugs and kisses goodnight, while one asked in a blunt manner if Sonzee would be coming home. How none of them were phased by this event. How I got to the second set of lights prior to turning into the hospital and I had a complete breakdown of fear wondering how this was going to work with a brand-new baby in just a few more weeks. All these thoughts compounded with the worry of whether going was the best decision and what could possibly be causing one of her first fevers that wouldn't settle even with alternating Tylenol and Motrin.
It was a bombardment of thoughts that wouldn't let up, the ones that don't give you a second to catch your breath, the ones that are far enough away on a daily basis that you don't feel their constant weight sitting on your chest, thankfully because it allows you to breathe. In a simple moment you realize they never really went away, they were just hidden in a compartment to keep you sane and functioning. It doesn't matter how much time passes or how "good things may be going", they are there like a swift punch to the gut to bring you back to the reality of the special needs life you are part of, the one that no matter what, you won't ever be able to escape.
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