I was a soldier, I was in combat, I was shot, and returned to battle a couple of months later. One time I was face to face with an enemy combatant and he fired his pistol 2 feet from my chest, I heard his weapon click, it misfired, that gave me time to pull out my weapon and shoot him point blank. From behind me, I heard my commander yell “run, run, get the Hell out of here!” Three days later I was captured and held prisoner for 32 damn months. Darling all that put together is nothing compared to these last three days.
My father has said this to me twice since I have been here, his eyes well up with tears every time, he is not exaggerating, he is dead serious when he says he would die without my mother.
My parents have been married over 50 years, my father no longer knows how to exist without my mother, how to breath, how to eat, how to wake up and get out of bed in the morning if she is not by his side. His thoughts are not so much incoherent, as they are irrelevant if she is not there to hear them and share them. Nothing makes sense to him if she is not here. This is painfully clear to me and to him, and he has told me more than once in these last few days. This is a fact that truly freaks out my poor sister, since she was alone with the first 24 hours that it took me and my oldest sister to make our way to Guatemala from Florida, and she alone bore the brunt of the immense anguish my Dad was in.
My mother had a brain aneurysm Friday night just after midnight, I was not able to get here (Guatemala) until Sunday at about 9pm. She had a stroke sometime Sunday night and was put in a medically induced coma on Monday morning. Before she was put under she would grab my father’s hand and say “Thank you, thank you for staying with me” The old man’s response was, where else would I be? I have always been here and will always be here. My Mom is 70 (Mom, if you are reading this, I’m sorry for revealing your age, I’m sure you’re not thrilled about it, but if you are able to read this then I couldn’t ask for anything more) my Dad is 75, he is a man and doesn’t mind revealing his age. He and I are big cry babies, so it is not as shocking to see his eyes tear up, as let’s say as some other men who never cry. What is shocking is the fear that was there the first few days where as he repeats to me frequently was touch and go, he shakes his head and says I almost lost her, I almost lost her.
We go back and forth from the Hospital to the house all day, and we gather little bits of good news, she opened her eyes, she moved her right hand, she wiggled her left foot, she responds to verbal commands, she squeezed my fingers, we removed the ventilator, she breaths on her own, she said Mama and she said Papa! This is not how I think of my Mother on a regular basis; she is as strong, willful woman. Smart, disciplined and daring. Now we are brought to tears of joy and relief because she said mama, our lives changed forever, none more so than her's and my father’s.