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  • Writer's pictureDrew Dotson

Day +79: inTENSE

I awoke this morning with a joyous heart, knowing that Ramón is waking up in a regular hospital room; he escaped the ICU! He required some ventilator support the past few weeks to rest his lungs, but he built his way back up to breathing on his own. Ramón successfully completed a 24-hour breathing trial yesterday, so he got the all-clear to move back to the bone marrow transplant floor. Hooray!

Early this morning, I woke up and noticed it was approaching 5:00 a.m. Well aware that it’s a Sunday, it took me back to the night we nearly lost Ramón. Though it feels somewhat naïve now, I remember the announcement that they got his pulse back. At that moment in time, I thought the scariest part was over. I thought, ‘Whew, he’s going to be okay,’ not knowing what his body might have endured while he was almost lifeless. Now, ten weeks have passed since I heard Ramón’s voice or laugh, and I never could have imagined things would unfold this way.

Lately I struggle with what tense to use when talking about Ramón. Sometimes I find myself talking in the present tense, saying things like, “He loves the smell of coffee.” Other times, I use the past tense, declaring, “Ramón liked this song.” It doesn’t come from a place of lost faith, but it’s a before and after the injury kind of thing – rooted in uncertainty. Until Ramón further emerges into consciousness, we don’t know what to expect. So, I’ve given myself permission to toggle between past and present tense, knowing that time will yield answers and, in the meantime, things are intense.

Like in the photo below, we’re in two different realms, but we’re also grounded in the same. Though the ambiguity is downright exhausting at times, it also enables me to keep hope alive. Instead of a single piece remaining to complete the puzzle, we’re still hunting for the missing edges.

Visiting friends in Missouri on our RV trip in 2018


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