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Hug Heartbeat

Posted by on July 16, 2020 at 2:00 AM

Lisa hangs out, lingering, chatting. I want her to stay overnight but we are both leary. Ben, is this okay? Yes, of course. He answers with no hesitation and we smile. We will sleep together in the bedroom and he's already on the electric bed in the living room.

At 11pm I help him with his meds, but notice his pain seems ...high. Do you need some breakthrough morphine? I ask. He nods and I inject 2ml. 

He says he needs to stand, but doesn't think he can do it. 

No problem, I say. Let me hug you and we can stand together, like we did before. He is uncertain. He doesn't think I can do it this time. It's okay, I say encouragingly, Lisa will help us. She hears my comment and is by my side in seconds. 

I squat to brace myself and lean into him. Gently, we hug. I count to three: 1, 2, 3!... and we stand together, with Lisa on the side, ready to support. 

But once it starts, I know I am lifting alone. I silently swear I won't drop him. I dig deep, grit my teeth and muster strength to lift us both. It exhausts me, but we are up. We stand by the bedside... but he doesn't let go. He is breathless from this lift, this sudden movement of up. I can feel his tension and I soothe, 'Just stand here with me. I'm here. I've got you. I've got you.'

His arms are wrapped around my neck and his head slumps onto my shoulder. We stand together in silence, it's the three of us. Ben's breathing is shallow and as I feel his body press to mine, I am suddenly aware of his heartbeat. It's too fast, and too strong. It thumps hard... I feel the beats..bam!bam!bam!bam!bam!... into my breasts. I hold him, and hold him up, with my sister at my side. Her arms are at the ready, loosely surrounding his hips and mine. 

We make eye contact and we are both unsure of what to do next with Ben. So we stand in silence, together, holding my husband up. 

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