a personal history of terrible things (not for the feint of heart).
last night, my husband came home later than i expected, shortly after i'd begun to worry. i spoke to my upstairs neighbor, trying to figure what to do. i called the police to ask about accidents. when he walked through the door as i was talking to the woman from upstairs, i excused my worry, apologized, and explained that we, or rather i, am prone to tragic accidents, and i thus have it in my head that bad things might seep in. these days i have been very lonely. jon has been working every day until 10 pm, leaving me alone to care for the children, exhausted by the heat, by their incessant complaint, the whining, the need to drive all over acquiring things, keeping them busy. i feel out of touch. i feel the absence of someone to speak to, to confess my life and process all my thoughts. i feel alone in my house, its empty rooms echoing when the children play quietly or nap. and this morning upon consideration of my fear of the accidental, i went down the list again, felt the weight of all the terrible things i have witnessed, and as usual simultaneously dismissed and invalidated the terror as nothing compared to the lives of others. it has been my friends who have dealt with terrible things lately, the people closest to me feeling the fear. my best friend suddenly lost her mother, which breaks a small part of my own heart. another friend sustained a loss i dare not even speak about. the terror is all around me. i feel it closing in amidst the silence and the echo of wood; the summer heat and humidity. i walk around with the sense that even more horrible things are in store for me, as if it were already written. i anticipate the loss of my husband like it were bound to happen. and when i do, i clutch my chest and sob whole-heartedly.
i decided to compile the actual events that have left me immovably stunned and terrified, for what reason i know not. i suppose it is to sit with it. it is a meditation. it is to consider my grief once more.
my son's first surgery, when he couldn't breathe afterward and was retracting very badly and the nurses tortured him by trying to suck blood out of his nose, which proved entirely unnecessary. eventually, they stuck a nipple in his mouth with the tip clipped off so he could breathe:
my son's second surgery when he became dehydrated and they poked him 5 times trying to find a vein, eventually landing his iv in his head:
the truck accident when i was 5 months pregnant with son #2, wherein a semi fell out of the sky and landed on my car:
the incident with the casserole dish, where i sliced through 4 tendons and severed a nerve in my wrist, trying to wash the dishes:
not pictured: jon failing the oral portion of his comprehensive exams for his phd.