Each time I wake up, I'm reminded of where I am. Lights flashing, machines beeping, parents crying. These are the sounds of our world. Certain machine noises can send my stomach lurching to my throat in an instant. When that happens I have to grab hold of anything near me and keep myself on my feet. I have to put my hand to my mouth to keep from vomiting. This happens approximately once an hour. I've learned to eat as much food as I can when my body is allowing me to swallow, because I have no idea if I'll have that function an hour from now. Sometimes it's just gone.
When I've left the bedside for any amount of time, I feel as though walking back is like walking to your own execution. Although they never actually finish the job. It's like someone is saying, "hurry up and get back to the place where you're blindfolded and someone gets to freely punch you in the gut every 20-30 minutes." You get beaten to within an inch of your life every single day, but are left with just enough to make you come back for more the next day. And you do it, because you have to. Because failure to show up and hold a hand is not an option. Because your fear is not as important as his life, or his possible fear. Because even though it turns you inside out and upside down, you know that you're going to be right there, standing on two feet for whatever comes next. Because that's what you promised him the day he was born. You promised to love him and to BE there. And so that's what you do. Each day, you breathe in and you breathe out. You put one foot in front of the other, and goddammit...you show up.