How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?

I’ve been off the grid for a while. It had been due to mundane, everyday reasons.

But now it’s because of my husband, I don’t even know how to say it. To write it, for writing it makes it real.

He is in the hospital. And that’s the good thing, that he’s in the hospital.

The planets aligned just right so that when his heart gave out, it did right in front of the paramedics.

He’d gone on a bike ride. No big deal, just for one hour this time, not the normal three or four. Just to the park ten minutes away, not the 50-mile ride he always does.

The kids were coming over for an early dinner, by a fluke all three of them. Our youngest, on a whim, came down from NYC for the weekend.

“I’ll be back,” he said.

He didn’t come back for seven days. Seven days where he rode the waves of full life support.

It’s been nine days since he went for that last bike ride and the journey to recovery has barely begun. The journey that we all embarked on when I answered the phone without thinking. Normally, I won’t answer unless I know who’s calling, but this time something made me pick up, even though I was in the midst of cooking and cleaning.

The journey that continued down that long, cold, endless ER corridor, my eyes drilling holes into the floor in front of me as I followed the tech who escorted me, afraid that if I looked up I would suddenly be confronted with a team in crisis moving in that synchronous, familiar ballet of saving a life.

This time with my own husband at the center of it. Lying there, helpless, colorless, and I feared, lifeless.

Hours and agonizing hours later, they came to me. They’d been successful in stabilizing him, enough to be moved to an ICU bed, enough to say he was still alive.

And he remains there, slowly, slowly moving along the slippery bonds that bind us to this precious earth.

Redondo Beach, California

Last summer at his beloved Redondo Beach, California, where he grew up surfing the waves.

6 thoughts on “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?

  1. J.G. Chayko

    My heart breaks for you. No words will ever be enough to comfort in this tragic circumstance. My thoughts are with you. Sending hugs and tons of healing energy, and a light on a dark path to bring him home. X.

  2. Carla Kienast

    Oh, my, gosh, Irma. I am so sorry. Like J.G. I am sending all the hugs and healing energy I can your way. My husband had triple bypass a few years ago and I know how helpless you can feel sitting in ICU for days on end. I’m so glad the paramedics were there and your children were with you. I know that he’ll make that journey back home. Keeping you in my thoughts.

  3. Leigh A Peltier

    Irma – sending good vibes to you and your family. Glad they were all there for you – coincidence or not. The heart is so scary – I know from personal experience with my Mr. Months of being scary but he’s great now. I wish the same for you and yours. Meantime I’m sending you some healing thoughts. 💜

  4. Susan Bain

    Positive thoughts and prayer are heading your way. This is scary stuff, but one of the few benefits of daily struggles with RA is that we learn to be tough when we have to. You have what it takes to stay strong for him. It’s a blessing that he at least collapsed right in front of the paramedics at the hospital, and is getting excellent care. I’ll keep you both in my heart and prayers.

  5. Wren

    Oh, Irma! I’m so sorry–how terrifying and awful for your husband, and of course, for you. You know that my thoughts are with you and that I hope he’ll make a full recovery. Sending hugs, peace, calm, and comfort to you and your family.


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