Saturday, March 15, 2014


These days three years ago of our 10 day vigil as Summer lay in the ICU... I remember arriving early every day and staying until late in the night, usually capped by an update from the neurologist. Only two people at a time were allowed in the ICU so we'd take turns standing there beside her, asking the nurses questions, eying the displays that monitored her vital signs, becoming inadvertent experts seizing upon any promising number. I wanted to be there holding her hand as often and long as I could. Her bed was angled up and Summer wasn't laying flat but almost sitting completely up, just reclining slightly with her eyes closed and I could almost imagine her simply asleep. Her left side was the more injured and her arm was in something of a sling, her hand held partly open by a small brace and gauze. Summer famously left a trail of tissues everywhere she went and more often than not if I reached for her hand, she had one balled up in her palm or trailing from her sleeve. When I stood now on her left side and slipped my hand into hers the gauze felt familiar like a palmed tissue, just like always. I couldn't leave. I'd stay for hours holding her little hand, stroking her forehead, whispering into her dear little ear, looking intently into the very bottom of her eyelids opened ever so slightly like a tiny parting in a drape, willing her to stir and wake and say my name and ask for some coconut water. At the end of one of those long days, Summer's dad and I walked out to the parking lot together and he turned and said to me that he needed to know that I wouldn't do anything to myself because if I did it would hurt them even more. I didn't know at first what he meant and asked him what. He said they were suicides in every one of my plays. I don't remember if he asked me to promise him or if I did. I think I just shook my head and said I understood.

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