Five weeks of recovery is now under our belt. We have learned to adjust to life in the slow lane- to linger over coffee, read magazines cover to cover, and put away the alarm clocks. Our home is like a time capsule. Kev's briefcase leans against his dresser- still unpacked from his flight home the night before the accident. That sofa I was reupholstering is frozen, mid-room, ghostly draped in muslin. My studio door remains closed while healing takes top priority.
The final toll was heavy: 8 broken ribs, smashed scapula, dislocated clavicle, punctured and collapsed lung, pneumothorax, hemothorax, and the crushing blow of two pulmonary emboli. The discovery of the emboli was nothing less than divine intervention. Had it not been for the tenacity of a student doctor to stand up to his supervising physician and push for c-scans Kevin would've been released with two time bombs in his lungs.
I have never not known this man. We grew up across the street from one another, raided each others' forts, spent summer nights in homemade tents, and shared a first kiss playing spin the bottle in his garage. The past two weeks at home have felt like those nights in the backyard tent- not sleeping close, but wishing we could. Talking about dreams and childish wants until we fall asleep. Words filling darkness, chasing away fears of mythical beasts, erasing uncertainty.
At times in the hospital I would see that 10 year old boy with eyes green as early spring moss blinking awake in an unfamiliar room. Through the night he woke often, sometimes believing he was in Thailand, other times in Dhaka, and he wondered why the airline let us linger so long in this hallway. His days blended, confused in hydrocodone mists and blinding fury of pain. Those days are memories now and despite the trauma, Kevin has little recollection of just how much danger he was in. For while he hallucinated, I hung tightly to the precipice of every breath, every lab result, every unmade memory for which I foolishly believed we had time.
What unfolds in these moments is the realization that life was getting the best of us. Before the accident, days were planned according to outdated goals. We endured weeks apart for the few days together between work, travel, and jet lag. We became normalized to love in fragmented time.
Slowly we are reclaiming what routine has a bad habit of burying. Perhaps we're that half full type of folk who see the positive shining brighter than the bad. Maybe it's the scare of nearly losing life that sharpens one's focus and blurs out the frivolous.
Now as we reconnect, we see the disconnect and are not content to resume that mode. In many ways the accident brought us closer than ever before. Words left unsaid have been spoken and roads we've wanted to explore will now be traveled. What lies ahead will be greeted together, with one voice, and hands clasped with the strength of every life past life we lived together.
LOVE & RECOVERY