The Point At Which I Am Inclined To Gasp, But Don't
Somewhere after 5pm, we got to see my dad. It looked like they'd cut his head off and reattached it using a staple gun. He was breathing through a tube through a gaping hole in whatever the name is for that divot of a place below your neck, between your clavicles. It was one of the most horrific and miraculous things I've ever seen.
I still had a camera on me. I was thinking, before I entered, that a photo here and now would provide closure for this chapter. But this scene was too fucked up for me to shoot and too undignified of a state to show my father. I let the image burn just to memory.
My mom could only cry. I held and hugged her though she didn't seem to notice. Mute now, Pa scribbled "I'm still in here" on the small dry-erase board they gave him. Mom wrote back "We're so proud of you!"
It was at this point I reminded Ma that Pa could still hear, and with a whisper of a laugh we all started recalibrating to the way things would be now.