Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Dance - Memoir Project #2

And now, I'm glad I didn't know
the way it all would end, the way it all would go.
Our lives are better left to chance;
I could have missed the pain,
but I'd have had to miss the dance
.- The Dance by Garth Brooks
The florescent lights of the high school hallway give her a halo-like glow as I adjust the ruffles of her recital tutu. My five-year-old only daughter looks like a beautiful angel surrounded by the light and the hushed baby blue, pink, and lilac of her costume. She is an angel. She is a miracle. It’s a miracle to be here with her enjoying the excitement before she goes on stage to dance. 
The combination of the lights and the cold concrete walls of the hallway where we wait don’t return me to my high school years. This isn’t my high school, and I have no memories lingering in these rooms waiting to seep back into my soul. Instead, they bring me back to the longest wait of my life four years earlier. 
The quiet stillness of rushing her to a nearby town echoes in the spaces of my mind. We travel in the first hours of the morning on the coldest day of the year where the only warmth comes from a restaurant fire we can see as we drive hurriedly on the unwelcoming, cold and cracked asphalt. The air is cold, chilling, sucking the very breath out of our bodies as we rush through the automatic doors. The icy intake of air into my lungs makes my chest ache. My body seems to be freezing, dying from the inside out. Yet, I ignore it. I am not actually dying. Our daughter is dying. Her face is ashen, and her eyes glazed, she clings to me bundled in her soft blue, lilac, and pink blanket with what energy she seems to have left. She is in pain, yet too weak to cry. 
My thoughts interrupted as my beautiful miracle calls to me, “Mommy, watch me twirl, Mommy watch me dance.”  I swallow my tears and smile as I watch her lift her graceful arms and twirl happily about the hallway with her friends. The school floor is as slick as ice making her feet fly faster. The incandescence catches the sequins on her costume and her blue eyes sparkle with delight.
The glow pulls me back in again, back to the now noisy hospital room. The lights are blinding. It’s filled with all sorts of medical technicians and nurses, and I can’t get near her. I see her beautiful graceful arms, but the medical staff has them held down, stretched out to her sides. She is screaming, terrified of what they are doing. They have to restrain her. She looks as though she is being held in place waiting to be crucified. Sharp needles pierce her everywhere; her arms, her hands, her feet to draw blood, but they cannot find a decent vein. They finally place some rubber tubing tightly around her head and try to draw blood from her tiny scalp. I fight my way to her, and the nurses part so I can get closer. I feel myself crying out to God, but no words escape my lips. I hold her hand and beg silently for God’s mercy to end her pain. 
      She was leaving this earth as though she was never meant to be here; as though she was always meant to be an angel, gracefully dancing in the heavens. But God changed His mind; He brought her into our lives and decided she would be a miracle instead. Four years later, my beautiful miraculous daughter continues to step out on the stage of life and dance.   

1 comment:

  1. The emotional struggle of reliving fear is portrayed powerfully in the this moment celebrating life and being a mother who sees past, present, and future in your child. Love it.