i got the call and found him chalk-skinned and shaking. regret dripping down his face.
anger exploded to my defense. keeping not-now-not-like-this-please-lord fear pinned against the seat.
i demanded payment in information and the list of pills was shaken out onto the floor between us. i drove with barely on the road attention. the loud of my voice insisting he stay awake…hitting at him with harsh words to keep him with me. to keep tears checked.
we stumbled through wide sliding glass doors and i had to say it out loud. suicide attempted. like an everest climb. attempted. but this the only time failure wins.
shame stirred it’s cloudy self into me at the speaking. that whoever i was, my love not enough to stop him opening the door labeled death to escape here and now.
they ushered him away with too much kindness for me to take in without tears and i stepped outside to tighten my face and lace up my fear so it would not trip me up in my pacing.
and i waited. waited with anger still full blown and pressed tightly to me. i kept anger between us because it seemed a more solid something to lean against.
his family came and i waited. waited until the worst possibility had dried up completely and we were left only with clothes stiffened from the soaking. his in plastic bag for returning. mine still clinging to me full of helpless.
gathering up all i had taken in, i walked along stained and cigarette butted sidewalk to car. finally in the middle of safe again—-protection of my airbag anger deflated. and i crumpled into after. tears freed to flood.
bruised not broken, i thanked god for the yes and began limping toward forgiveness.
the lord your god is with you,
the mighty warrior who saves.
he will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
zephaniah 3.17 (NIV)