The buzz of fluorescent lights hum, a bassline for the rhythms of myriad machines pumping, pushing, swooshing, beeping. It's the chorus of life here in the chilly ICU, this room. And such a juxtaposition from the world beyond these four hospital walls. Outside the melody sounds of birds singing, kids playing against the harmony of trees wrestling in the April breeze. The sunshine, bright, warm is a drastic difference, sparkling in a fuzzy blue sky scattered with streaks of white clouds. I want fling open the curtain, bum rush the door, make a beeline for the elevator and wheel him -- and his bed and all of the machines and tubes and IVs -- right out the door, remind him that there's so much beyond the pale olive walls and glowing tubes of light overhead. But I don't have enough hands to make that kind of escape. And I don't have any willing accomplices. Probably for good reason.
For as many ways as I'm so totally and utterly different from my father, there are some ways that we are so completely alike. We both long for sunshine and time spent outside feeling spring breezes dance on bare skin. He likes his weather cool, spends his vacations, nice days emerged in lakes, rivers casting fishing lines into tiny turquoise ripples, reeling the line back in. I like mine like I take my coffee -- a constant drip of warmth. Though I could leave or take the fishing rod, I know that feeling of life being outside lends. And I want him to feel alive right now, not half dead like the purple peonies drooping wearily in the pot on a counter next to his bed. If only they could both be transported into the sun ...
So we wait. We wait under replacement sun, while tubes push and pull replacement air in and out of my dad's lungs. We wait while replacement blood laxly drips into an IV, flushes around his body, stirring organs to breathe, pump, push, pull. We wait and we wait and we wait while all of the replacements push him closer to life.
And the waiting somehow slowly sucks the energy from my limbs. This constant limbo, this waiting to see if life prevails; it's all so exhausting.
A chaplain's voice leaks through the hospital's sound system. She reminds me to live in the gentle flow of His grace. I ponder this thought as I stare out the window, realizing that sunshine somehow seeps into the darkness. The Truth, the Light always seeps in through the darkness.
Moments later, Brahms Lullaby gently sings through the same speakers. Confused, I ask if that means what I think it does. A new baby. My step mom nods her head, smiles. The song, it shakes me awake, reminds me I'm alive. It gives me hope. A new life ... a new life. I pray for my dad to get another chance at a new life -- one without replacements, one without waiting to live, waiting to breath. A new life ... A New Life.