“Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.” – Victor Hugo

The loud KERTHUNK woke me out of a dead sleep. It came from the next room. I was up on my feet in an instant. I called out to my husband and he mumbled a response, not registering how alarmed I was.

I have been a light sleeper ever since I became a mom. Him, not so much.

I ran to my daughter’s room. She lay crumpled in the middle of her floor. I said her name. She didn’t respond. I said it louder. I had flown to her side, and rolled her on her side. Blood. All over her face.

I don’t remember what I said or what I did. I was screaming. I remember checking her arms for cuts. Her legs. Her abdomen. Nothing. Why was there blood all over her face?!

Suddenly, I was under water. I couldn’t hear myself yelling, but I was yelling for Byran to call 911. Over and over.

I asked her, “Did you take all your pills?!”

I got a vague nod, and then her eyes went glassy. She started flailing about.

“Get her on her side!” Byran yelled.

I had dragged her into the hallway.

“What? Why?” I wasn’t following.

He handed me bright red mixing bowl, and I managed to catch on when she started heaving.

Oh, my God, child, what have you done??!! My mind was screaming. And then I kept saying it over and over.

In the fray, I managed to remember to shut my son’s bedroom door. The bedrooms were all on the main floor, clustered at one end of the house. I didn’t want to have to explain this to him.

The ambulance seemed to take hours.


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