My eyes and heart had never felt this kind of heavy.

I remember my college days. Consecutive nights of studying. Lack of sleep and proper nutrition. Roaming about the campus from class to class, my presence torn between my mind floating like a high and body dragging like bags of sand. But this feels different. Same insomnia, same emptiness in the stomach. But a hopeless high, a deeper drag. And of course, the addition of tears.

But it’s like when the downpour stopped, it left a desert. From this grave uncertainty, a feeling of blankness.

I remembering walking out of the hospital cafeteria, a zombie.

“Excuse me?”

I couldn’t tell if my mind was playing tricks on me but I turned around to the sound any way.

“Your dad was in the emergency room right?”

It was coming from a man who was walking with his two small kids. I nodded, forced a half smile.

“We were next door. We could hear your dad talking to you guys.”

Before he went into that unexpected emergency heart surgery on that random Wednesday evening, we didn’t know what would happen. As he lie in the hospital bed while they prepped, he told us what he tells us nearly every day:

“My life started when I met your mother, you guys know that right? And then we had you babies and the times we spent rank as the greatest joys of my life. I don’t expect anything to happen, but I want you babies to know that. I’ve had a good life, I have loved my life.”

I couldn’t help it. I buried my face in his shoulder and bawled until a little lake formed on his hospital gown.

My mind snapped back to the man in hospital hallway. “He is a very special man, your dad. Very special, we could tell. God bless him and you all.”

And just like that the dam broke and I was a mess again.

These past two weeks have been a roller coaster ride for my family. But I’m happy and so grateful to say that though we are still in the hospital and a long road to recovery lies before us, I am here with him, holding his hand, saying I love you, and getting a “love you, Vie Baby” in return.

Words I cling to more than ever.


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