I wrap my arms around my baby sister and softly whisper … “I am here.” As we cling to one another, I have a sense of her falling, letting go of some of her emotional pain and stress.
The last few hours have been a personal nightmare as my sister tries to understand what happened while she sits in the intensive care unit of the hospital with her two sons waiting for the doctors. All she knows is that her husband was involved in a head on collision and is alive miraculously with no head injuries. The young driver that came into his lane at 60 mph was not so lucky.
On that beautiful Sunday, a fire chief saw the accident happen and immediately radioed for help. Afterwards he found my sister’s husband trapped inside his truck in a creek bed with his engine on fire. After extinguishing the fire, a team of volunteer firemen cut a hole in the roof of the truck and pulled him to safety. With grateful hearts, my sister and I whisper our prayer on earth knowing it is heard in heaven.
In the interim weeks, I held my sister’s hand. Dealing with red tape of insurance companies and hospital bureaucracy along with work and home related issues added to our uncertainty. Additional surgeries for internal bleeding and a crushed pelvis meant long waits and sleepless nights.
Together we found different coping mechanisms to help us navigate the many problems we encountered. Fear has a way of making us feel helpless as our hearts race and our brains will not turn off. Holding on tight to one another, we whispered our love to all who stood with us.
Each morning we started our day with a thankful prayer of healing and continued guidance. Our breathing exercises help to silence the noise in our heads. Our cup of ginger tea soothes our nervous stomach. Talking about issues and problems that will and can arise helps us to feel safe in the moment. We found that if we find the good in each day we can be better prepared for any set-backs.
Pain is a daily remainder. It is on the face of our loved one who is in traction, unable to move. It is my sister’s soft whispering of “I am here” that calms him as we try and not take offense of the anger that shows up. I like to think it is grief crying out, needing a place to land and set you free.
Exhaustion may take over after a very long day as you fall in bed, but after a few hours, sleep is elusive. We opted for the scent of lavender in our room, chamomile tea before bedtime, melatonin if needed, and in some cases, deep breathing exercises as we conjure our favorite beachside. On many long nights I heard her whisper … “You awake?” I whisper back … “Yes, I am here.”
The last person you think about in a stressful situation is yourself. Proper nutrition and hydration is essential. Finding the time to get away for long walks enjoying the fresh air and sunlight is so beneficial. Massages helps to relieve pinned up tension. Leisurely meals away from the hospital eases some of the worrisome anxiety as together we watch as my sister’s husband grows stronger each day.
Months later, I awaken in my own bed as the healing is complete. Life has a way of putting unforeseen obstacles full of pain and sorrow in our way. Alone it is hard to conquer. One whisper can make a difference … “I am here.”