The Second Chance

April 3, 2011
A pain shattering fear. One that all men, women, and children suffer through at least once in their tear-ridden lives. Cold, white tiles pave the way to occupied rooms that leave an unwelcoming taste in everyone’s mouths: a taste of sadness and fear. The white tiles are worn with scuff marks from the hundreds of sorrowful souls walking across them every day. Every person there is filled with a dread that never leaves as long as the person they love occupies a room; it just lingers there and eats at them. This dread becomes the only focus of the men who are overcome with the worry of losing their wives.
The children look on with watery eyes, uneasy with the possibility of losing their mother. She is the person who gave them an incredible life and the most amazing memories. The mothers and loving wives give all their being to survive, willing their hearts to beat normally. Misery splashes the walls. Worry drifts in the air. At any moment, everything can change, so they sit there, wishing, praying to be frozen in time.
The goodbyes of the visitors are prolonged because they are left with the unknown of whether it will be their last. If it were up to them, they’d stay forever, cherishing every moment, living without the sadness that was etching canyons with salt water into their faces. Unfortunately, they all know they can’t stay; the wives and mothers live their lonely lives of watching television and viewing the lives they could be fulfilling if only they didn’t have the condition they were destined to have.
The children try to continue life as normally as possible, but reflections stop them dead in their tracks as they think of their mother in that lonely room with misery sliding down the walls. Suddenly, those of the children that rarely ever pray, drop to their knees begging God for a second chance: a second chance to treat her the way she always deserved, a second chance to repent for all the times they took advantage of her, a second chance to prove how much they really cared. The loving husbands reflect on all the good moments they were blessed to have with the love of their lives, hoping there would be more to come.
The children anticipate their next visit, hoping the one in the past isn’t their last. As the children slowly saunter off to a restless sleep, and the men lie there, feeling a void next to them; sadness overcomes and nightmares coat the wisps of sleep. A phone call soon changes everything for the man who cannot get a full night’s rest. He is left with making the decision of waking his children, or allowing them the opportunity to live in an alternate universe where nothing is wrong.
The husbands and fathers decide to leave their children at peace for the few moments they have, and rush to their wives sides as they are fighting to stay alive. The wives and mothers subconsciously know there is too much to leave behind; they give their all. Blue pools of blood spread over their body, under their skin. They know something is truly wrong and fear permeates through their minds as their heart begins to slow. They have to fight.
The wives and mothers quickly begin to fade, and the husbands feel helpless sitting in the pools of misery that have settled in the lobby. There is nothing they can do to change anything, so they decide to put their love’s life into God’s hands. It had been decided that it wasn’t her time to go; doctors worked to keep her alive, succeeding.
The children wake with tired eyes and the morning air seemed different. Knowing nothing of the night prior, the tired eyes sleep as if its the only way to forget the pain they feel inside. The fathers call their children telling of the evening’s events. Time stops. Tears fall down the children’s faces, they feel as though they have been pushed to their knees. Staying strong is a near impossible task at the thought: they almost lost their mother.
At the first chance they can grasp, the men and children rush to visit the soul they love more than themselves. The children can’t steal enough hugs and the husbands can’t help but admire their beautiful wives. The mothers and wives, whom faced death and whose minds are etched in fear, hold their children close. The words the mothers whisper into the ears of their children will stay with the children, hidden deep in their souls as a reminder: I stayed alive for you.
The goodbye this time is even longer for all the men, women, and children because the fear still lingers inside. Tear wrenching hours slow to what feels like days and family arrives to support the children whose foggy minds are distracted and unfocused. The children push themselves to stay strong, but it proves to be an impossible task, as tears slip out at the thought of the worst outcome.
The wives are finally all done with their tests that kept them away, and the men, children, and family, all arrive to visit. The look on the wives’ faces is reassuring, and the children slowly let out a sigh. The results stating the wives health weren’t to be in yet, but no matter what the children and men knew that it would all be all right.
The wives and mothers were given the okay of going home, and the children and men couldn’t contain their excitement. As the wives walk through the door, smiles occupy the faces of those that had the worst week of their lives. The wives and mothers seemed to be okay; that was all the children and men needed to continue living.
Occasionally there are scares and the pain flashes back again, but never has it gotten to be as bad as it once was for the men, women, and children. Occasionally, the children still cry for the fear of losing their mother at any instance. Occasionally, life stops at the thought. But then everything continues normally, and the men, women, and children, have a true appreciation for having each other in their lives.

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