I Know You Are But What Am I?


I have flashbacks of Ella. 2005. Ella was in her hospital room hooked up to machines, laying in the small examine bed that she knew better than my own arms. Daniel and my two boys, toddlers at this point, went to the family room to hang out while I was able to be the first visitor for the day.

I entered her room with words of encouragement, bent down to smell her head and give a kiss. Off in the dark behind her bed was a player so I put on the mixed CD of music that I wanted her to hear. The first song was Mogwai and the song would be the soundtrack to my slow motion recall of the doctors and nurses running into her room. Their scrubs cluttered the room, I froze staring her at, wanting to ask what was happening but knew it was no use. They frantically adjusted her medications, they injected her with new medications. She was a delicate balanced potion of life.

I slowly walked backwards to open up the room. It was a miracle, an act of science that allowed her to survive an SVT attack. This was new to the list of medical complications my baby was diagnosed. Her heart raced at double the rate it should have been. Damn you mom for passing this gene to her! We gave her every challenge we could muster in utero and now she was fighting hard to give them back.

I held my shit together, for her. They began to clear the room, leaving me standing next to her holding on to her tiny bandaged hand. She was motionless, she looked dead but the beeps kept on vibrating the walls of the room.

Her heartbeat pounds my ears nine years later. Damn you all. Damn science. Damn the doctors. Damn death. You ask why do I live. You wonder what motivates me to get out of bed each day. One small part of her still lives in me, if I die so is she.



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