As I sit holding his hand, my heart is shattering into small pieces. The anguish and worry etched into his face cut me so deeply, I’m sure I’ll perish.
But I must remain strong for him.
I tear my gaze from my love’s face to look at the man lying in the bed before us. Even in sleep, his face is grimaced in pain. There are wires and tubes criss-crossing over his body and the machine above his bed is spitting out numbers that mean little to me- they don’t tell me what is wrong with him.
The room is chilly but there is a trickle of sweat down my back. Anxiety pays no mind to the temperature around me.
It seems like ages before they come to tell us what our hearts already knew. He is really sick and they will be admitting him. My love and I follow closely behind as they wheel this man upstairs to the ICU.
This man is my future father-in-law, my fiance’s sole remaining parent. While I come from a large family with multiple tangents, Scotty’s family is small and few. In fact, it’s just him and this man who looks far too fragile right now.
So my heart is in pieces for him, for them, as I watch Scotty try to hold it together and not show his fear.
His father’s health has not been great for a number of years, but he’s always fought back. In fact, this is not the first time we’ve sat at his bedside like this, with our hearts in our throats. But each new time is a reminder that he cannot fight this fight forever, and we mourn the gradual loss of a great man, as his body continues to fail him.
This time we are lucky, his father will heal.
But my heart is still in pieces, already broken for the day when we won’t be so lucky.