Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Word Blog Hop: Friable Dreams

Word of the Week: friable:  Easily crumbled or pulverized
Super Challenge: valleity: 1. The lowest degree of volition
                                            2: A slight wish or tendency

     "Rough day," my husband whispered. I squeezed my eyes shut. Did he really think talking things through would help at a time like this?

     "At least there weren't anymore seizures today," Roger commented. "I guess that's one blessing to be thankful for."

     Why did he have to mention blessings? Words like hypotoxic and encepalopathy and tumor were still spinning around in my head. What in the world did blessing mean?

     I reached over and stroked Priscilla's leg, one of the only parts of her body that didn't have some kind of tube or monitor attached to it. "It was nice of your mom to decide to fly in," Roger said.

     I muttered an incoherent - and ungrateful - reply. Roger and my mother hated each other, and everyone in the family knew it.

     "Chrissy ... " Roger pleaded, reaching out toward me. I wrapped the hospital blanket more tightly around my shoulders.

     "Well," Roger said with a sigh, "I guess it's good night."

     No, it wasn't a good night. In fact, with the news the doctor gave us today, I didn't know if we would ever experience a "good night" again in our lives.

     Roger leaned down and kissed the top of my head. "I'll tell the nurse you're going to sleep now," he said. I didn't reply. I watched my husband of eleven years walk out the hospital door. For a moment, I thought about running after him, about letting myself collapse into his strength, about asking him to stay with me one more hour as I sat vigil by our daughter's hospital crib. But then the fleeting valleity passed.

     I wrapped the hospital blanket around my shoulders. How many days had it been since I last was outside? I thought about getting up and brushing my teeth, but I was too exhausted. I feel asleep to Priscilla's heart rate monitor beeping in a disturbingly erratic fashion.

     I held Priscilla high above my head. "Look, Roger!" I laughed. "She can already hold her neck up!"

     "I hope you remembered to burp her before lifting her up over your head," my husband joked.

     "Swing to Daddy!" I crooned as my infant smiled down at me. I looked at my husband to see the gleam in his eyes, but Roger was staring at me in horror.

     "What did you do to her?" he demanded.

     I turned to look at my little girl. Her head was swollen to twice its normal size. She cried in pain as plastic tubes grew out of her throat, her stomach, her wrists, her chest. As I held her in my hands, Priscilla's strong body turned into a friable mess. As if she were a sand child, bits of Priscilla's body began to crumble onto the floor. 

     "Grab a broom!" I shouted to my husband, but Roger just continued to stare at the crumbs of Priscilla cascading to our living room rug.

     "A broom!" I screeched. Roger stared at our daughter in disgust, turned on his heel, and walked away.

     I woke up when a night-shift nurse came to turn off Priscilla's tube feeding. "Sorry for waking you," she whispered when she heard me rustling. I got up and washed my face at the small hospital sink. I was covered in cold sweat.

     "It's ok," I assured her. "I'm glad you did."

 The Word Blog Hop is hosted on Wednesdays by Melissa at Hidden Valley Simplicity. Each week's writing challenge features two vocabulary words to incorporate into your post. Want to join the Word of the Week Blog Hop? I'd love to hear what story you come up with! You can leave a link to it in the comments section below. (And don't forget to link up at Hidden Valley Simplicity as well.)

Word! Blog Hop


  1. Wow. Have you been here in this place? If you have, it's even more heartbreaking to read. If you haven't, it is astounding you can write this way as if you were. Thank you for linking. I am enjoying reading!

    1. This is definitely fiction, but yes we've dealt with all the nightmares and marriage stress that comes from having a medically-fragile child. And I should be the one thanking you. This linkup has been really fun so far.

  2. Oh great! That makes two of my favorite bloggers who posted tear-jerkers this week.