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An ABC Story

A day later, it all seemed like a dream. But if only it had been. Clasping the edge of the hospital bed, I reached out a hand to brush his forehead–how brave my love had been. 

“Daddy’s going to be okay,” I had told our daughter earlier that evening, but I knew there was but slim hope. Each breath he took told me there was still a chance. For the millionth time, or so it seemed, my mind went back to the incident.

Gussied up, we were our for a night on the town and indeed what I grand time we shared. However, the end of our evening was anything but. It was all such a blur, seeing the man coming out of the shadows as we left the restaurant. Just as we passed him, he began spewing threats and demands. Knife in hand, we knew he was serious and I opened my purse to fulfill his wishes. Lifting his arm up to grab the burglar’s hand, it was clear my husband had other ideas. Must he have chosen that moment to be brave? Needlessly, the question rolled around in my mind. Only a moment after he had begun to fight back, the knife found itself lodged in my husband’s neck and the burglar, apparently jolted by the ordeal, had run off. Powerless, I knelt down next to him on the pavement, waiting for an ambulance to arrive and trying to assure him it would be okay–though I dare say my tears were not very convincing. Quickly the men loaded him on the stretcher once they had arrived, all were shocked he was still alive. Reassured, I thought it was a sign he might be okay. Surely he would pull through and we would both look back on this nightmare together, I thought to myself.

The hours went by, but I was still sitting next to his hospital bed. Uneasy, I looked up at him, his neck had been bandaged where the knife had been lodged. Vibrato rang out from my voice as I tried to suppress tears. What would I do without my love? Xylophone-like, the sound of a nurse call button rang out, distracting me for a brief moment; but that moment, ever fleeting as another sound drew me back. Yelling out, or so it seemed, the heart monitor began to slow, and his breathing grew ever faint. Zealously, a voice called out to me, whether it was audible or only in my mind, I didn’t know; but it was real nonetheless, “I will always be with you my love…


  • Heather Marsten

    January 6, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    #amwriting Stephen, there is power in this story. Brought back memories of two years ago when I lost my husband after two months fighting to keep him alive in the hospital. I too had the feeling he would always be with me and my children. He is missed and loved. The most powerful part of this piece is: “Each breath he took told me there was still a chance.” I remember those moments of hoping.


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