How do you live in a landscape so vastly changed?
I grabbed Charlie from the back seat and while unlocking his car seat and pulling him over the twin's seats I jammed my finger. Pain shot through my hand and arm but I didn't even have time to react, I just kept going. I moved in a fluid motion that kept everything around me moving as well. I ran into the emergency room where our doctor had already called to ensure we would be able to walk right in. He was clearly more concerned that I realized he was that day.
My thoughts bounced from "I'm sure this is nothing..." to "What am I going to do without my baby?" Literally every thought and every possible scenario played out in my head just in the amount of time it took two nurses in the front to check Charlie's temperature and vitals. They did not have a look of concern on their face, so for a minute or two I actually settled down. Maybe it's nothing. I'm sure it is nothing.
And just like that everything changed in an instant. I was lifted out of the lush green forest into an empty and desolate wasteland. I didn't have time to prepare myself. The nurse grabbed Charlie from my arms and yelled, "I need some help. He's not breathing." I heard panic in his voice and then I watched over 30 people swarm the ER from every single specialty within the hospital. I couldn't see Charlie. I couldn't keep standing. I couldn't sit down. My eyes filled with tears and I couldn't see anything. I remember someone asking me if I wanted a chair. I just needed to see Charlie. I waited and waited for what felt like eternity and then I finally heard someone yell, "Someone update the mom. Someone quickly!"
It is impossible to prepare for something when it changes in an instant. It is impossible to figure out the best way to deal with it. So with the only words I had left I said, "I need someone to get my husband."
Our entire life changed that day and then again 10 days later. I wish I could go back to my picnic in the forest. I wish I could hide in the shade of the huge Oak tree. Instead I search desperately for water. I beg with my hurting eyes for help. I look for any mirage that will make my day a little brighter, bring a little hope. Some days I see the old reality, our old home, our old life. Some days it is so far away I am not even sure I remember what it looked like at all.