Filled with bedtime stories, prayers for safekeeping, kisses goodnight.
Laying in the eerie call rooms, listening to the creaking of the giant fortress your shift binds you to.
You yearn for normalcy.
You yearn for the past.
Just as you delve into distant peaceful memories to take you far from the concrete walls… the shrill brings you back to reality.
The calls, the beeps, the sirens.
Each step toward the trauma bay fills that empty pit of your stomach with new uncertainty.
Each step raises your heart rate.
Each step brings fear.
Each step is the difference between life and death.
The emergency room buzzes.
The night becomes a blur.
Blood, tubes, lines, medications, times, counts.
Decisions into actions.
Yes. No. Stop. Move. Push. Now.
Watching your fingers squeeze breath into an empty chest.
Standing next to life without life.
The blur returns.
Hours go by.
Laying in bed.
Watching the sunrise.
Watching the world start turning and wishing, even hoping, the mind can settle.
Longing to decompress enough to rest.
Longing to be a part of the world outside the window. The normal world.
Remembering the bedtime stories, prayers for safekeeping, kisses goodnight.
Wanting that story, prayer, kiss.