Last night’s snow and wind buried cars on the street and stilled the world outside my window.
I woke this morning wishing that I, too, had been buried by the wind and snow last night. I heard footsteps on the stairs–your sister-in-law or your niece. Not you. Never again you.
An oil truck on the street below revved its motor, struggling to make the turn, heading toward The Point. And then silence once again, and with the silence, emptiness.
I lay still in bed, not even stretching out my legs between the cool sheets, staring at the red wall where it meets the white trim of the window that was frosted this morning.
A bug crawled along the sill. A rare visitor, this bug in winter. I might have watched the tiny creature longer if I hadn’t heard Cleo yelp and Caleb bark.
My bare feet touched the cold floor and I hurried to the bathroom to pee before I went downstairs to feed the dogs.
Lying in bed with you days before, I said, “I don’t know how I will go on without you.” That was the first time I had said those words aloud, but they had been on my mind for three years, from the day I was led to a small room down the hall from the OR.
The surgeon had promised me that once he’d opened your abdomen and saw what was there, he would come out to the hall where I stood waiting and tell me. Instead, he sent the anesthetist who led me to a small windowless room. I knew, as I walked beside him down the hospital hallway, that good news didn’t require the privacy of a room.
The door was opened for me and I stepped in. Two metal chairs and nothing more had been given to the space, nothing on the white walls but black marks waist high, scars from the chairs rubbing against the wall. There wasn’t room for a desk or a small table with a lamp. There was a ceiling light with dead bugs silhouetted in its globe. What does the staff call this room? I wondered. Surely there is a code for it. There are codes for everything in a hospital: ER, OR, ICU. Maybe it is called the BNR for the Bad News Room.