just breathe

“Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable
And life’s like an hourglass glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button, boys
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe, just breathe
Oh, breathe, just breathe . . . .” – “Breathe” by Anna Nalick

She wasn’t breathing.

The medics swarmed her, moving her to the living room, checking her vitals, and I watched as they intubated my baby. One of them was asking me questions about her medications, her details, her medical history, and explaining that this was all precautionary.

It didn’t look precautionary. Every so often her eyes would open and her whole body would flail about. She had thrown up. She had wet herself. She had messed herself.

But, her eyes were vacant. She was there, but no one was home.

Once she was loaded into the ambulance, I climbed in the front seat. They turned on the sirens.

When I see an ambulance and the sirens are blaring, I stop and pray for the person in it and their family. That God will be with them and that they, whoever they are, will be okay. I shared that with someone once, and they said, “How Catholic of you.”

I’m not Catholic, so, I don’t understand what they meant, or whether it was derogatory. But, I hoped that someone, somewhere was praying for my daughter when they saw her ambulance, it’s sirens blaring as we rushed to the hospital in the dark, early, early morning.

The medics rushed her into the emergency room, and I stood in the hallway as the medical team cut her out of her clothes. There were comments about how this was a frequent occurrence, this situation.

I watched as the medical team tried to hold her down to get an IV in her arm. They had to call a security guard because her tiny self was struggling so hard against being held down.

Not conscious of it.
Not present.
Covered in blood.
I sat in the hallway and cried when no one was looking.


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