Chapter Two: Breathe
He’s on ventilator. How did this happen? We were to move him out of the ICU today. No, this can't be. But the doctor keeps saying it. Why? How? What does this mean? He says he can’t breathe on his own. His heart can’t beat on its own. What about my heart? My life is suspended with his. Don’t they understand?
There they are, those pipes and wires surround him. Who is this? Is this my husband? And I feel the tears drowning me. What do I do now? How do I change this? Is this the end of his fight, our fight to keep him alive? Has he left me? But we were in this together. We have lost.
I wake up with a feeling of despair weighing me down into the depth of my blankets. I hold on tightly to my daughter, sleeping beside me. It is only at this hour that I can plead protection from my child, who I lovingly protect during the tyranny of daylight. I hold her and feel like a child again.
Every night, his absence in my bed becomes daunting by his presence in my dreams. I wish not to recount the last thread of his life with us, but its memory haunts me. Soon, I get myself out from under the comfortable covers and look at the clock, never at his smiling photograph that hangs above it. It is 4.30 am. My husband and I would wake at an early hour like this and over a cup of tea, discuss ways to wake the girls in the morning. Needless to say, none worked.
My morning routine remains unchanged, just without him now. I look at my younger daughter as she sleeps and silently resolve to protect her, like I often do. The purpose of my life seems to have come to this now. A few months back, it was to keep my husband alive.