I haven’t posted in several days, for a couple of reasons. One, I went through a couple of very dark days and had nothing to say that I wanted to advertise. Two, when those days passed, I went back to work.

I don’t seem to cry much anymore. It hasn’t happened since Tuesday, except the occasional well-up of tears that disappear as quickly as they came. But it appears that thoughts of the hospital are my weakness. I’ve relived them over and over and over. Sometimes even something like seeing a fire truck or ambulance — or, in one case, a tow truck — sets it off. I imagine Mikey and my dad waiting at the doctor’s office for the vehicles to arrive. I imagine him being loaded in and taken away, lights flashing, my dad following in the car. I don’t know if there were sirens. I don’t want to know. I remember getting to the hospital from work, and seeing my mom and dad’s faces in the waiting area outside the ER. The enormity of what was going on — the gravity of Mikey’s situation — was terrifyingly apparent in their expressions, and fear hit me hard. I remember my cousin Krissy taking me back to his little room in the ER to see him, and talk to him in case he could hear me. But I didn’t know what to say, so I said nothing.

But the time in the ICU waiting room stands out. Just thinking about it makes me unsettled, nervous, sad, wistful. The hours wore by so slowly. More family came and we took over the waiting room. I remember feeling so cold, and noticing an uneasy peace settling on me as we waited for news. And I remember the damn automatic door to the ICU was right outside the waiting room, and everytime someone walked by, the doors would open… and our hearts would leap into our throats and our stomachs would clench, expecting someone to come in with an update. When they did, it was almost always heartbreaking.

As Wednesday afternoon stretched into early evening, the sunlight dimmed, and began inching upward on the homes and trees outside the hospital windows. The shadows got longer, taller. It was obviously getting late, the sun was setting, and it was not a pleasant feeling. That feeling that night was closing in.

I think about that more than almost anything else, that moment when I realized the day was winding down. The way the color of the sunlight faded to gold. The shape of the screen porch on the house below. The light reflecting off the cars in the parking lot.

I miss my little brother.

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