The Point At Which I Am Inclined To Gasp, But Don't

A placeholder for what could have been an image of my father in the hospital

August 4, 2014

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.

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