Picture if you will, a husband and wife in the hospital just after they have had a c-section and are waiting for the baby to come join them from the room where the surgery happened. The nurse is there to help. The husband is trying to do what he can to comfort his wife.
Because of the anesthesia, she is nauseated. The nurse warns them that she needs to keep pressure on the incision if she throws up, so to warn them. This begins to happen.
The husband and nurse hold a pillow against her tummy. The husband uses one hand to hold the throw-up bag because the wife has to use both hands to prop herself forward in the bed.
The husband and wife are face to face. He is holding the bag and pillow for her. And inches away from his nose, she throws up into the bag.
At this tender moment, he whispers, “I love you.”
It happens again. He whispers, “You are so beautiful.”
Things settle down. The nurse cleans the wife up a bit. The husband does as well.
Then she is nauseated again. The scene repeats with another whisper of affection. When it is finally over, and the nausea passes the husband says, “That was such a romantic moment honey.”
For those of you that don’t know, I’m a writer. So I wanted to share this scene as realistically as possible. I want you to feel like you were there with me moments after the birth of my seventh child. November 11th, 2011. I shared a moment of love and joy with my wife that was unique to me.
This is what I think of when I think of romance. Some may write a romantic scene with two bodies pressing and entwining. Of young hearts beating. Whatever. That is not romance.
Romance is holding the hand of someone that needs you. Comforting them when all you can do is be there with them. And when you can, whispering to them that no matter what, they are your one true love.
My nephew Denny Bates passed away, March 23, 2019. We had been having lunch almost weekly. I sat and discussed politics with him just days before he took his own life. The weeks that followed were strange as I struggled to understand in my heart that we would not be continuing our conversation.
I wrote this poem soon after he passed. But I haven't shared it until today. I kept waiting for a way to make it feel complete. How could I wrap up this thought? How could I give a sense of closure to the reader? But I think it is better this way. Suicide leaves the survivors feeling like things are unfinished. That is still the way I feel.
I've had just a bit of experience with loss and grief. This one was a bit more bitter from the way it happened. I know there was probably no way for me to have predicted what was about to happen. I don't believe that our last conversation was anything but normal.