Eyes of glassy red and skin with an unrecognizable pallor. You don’t know what I would do to steal your sickness and make it my own.
I’ve never been asked which is more difficult, to suffer yourself in sickness or watch your best friend turned spouse suffer. My answer would always be the latter.
Watching your glassy-eyed gaze stare at nothingness only semi-conscious, then slipping into unconsciousness with violent shakes of convulsions shook me into utter helplessness. I prayed silently as I talked with the 911 dispatcher, trying to take even breaths to keep my calm as they asked if you were breathing. I said I didn’t know.
My mom said she couldn’t detect your breath when I asked.
I just wanted my best friend to talk back to me. So with anguished prayers, I asked for that request and with moments that sat pregnant, you finally did.
Some have unfortunately assumed Michael was on drugs (laughable) since, on his poor days, he looks well-worn. This is an unfortunate travesty I’ve heard from others with chronic illness who are young. There’s this mistaken assumption that if you do indeed wear red-rimmed eyes and rough appearance, with youth in your blood, you must be on drugs. Hopefully, this is a sacred cow in our society that can be slaughtered. The young can, in fact, become ill, but that illness does not have to be caused by drugs.
I couldn’t help but remember the two faces that sit on our computer’s desktop screen. Two faces who had hopes and dreams. We all have them. The goals that line notebook pages-penned with both excitement and strategy.
I can still picture our full mouthed grins.
Even the sick had plans.
But like a needle to a balloon, these dreams deflated. But that just goes to show how much hope we had in the balloon and the confidence of the breath we breathed into the balloon, relying too much on our self-sufficiency than the Creator of self. But God can use all of our deflated dreams, collecting the broken pieces of our balloon to create a story redeemed.