Zachary G. Jacobs, MD February 24, 2017
I still remember your smile. If you can even call it that - plastic tube jutting between cracked and bloodied lips, like a scuba diver, trapped beneath a vast and oppressive sea, just waiting for the tank to run dry. To look into your eyes was to gaze upon a raging sky - their blue-grey color, like livid, or slate, betrayed an unseen tempest – an inner turmoil fueled by nostalgia for what once was; the knowledge of what is; as well as pain at the loss of what could have been. Sometimes, I wonder about the sound of your voice. I try to imagine its pitch and its cadence, how it might have sounded, in place of the mechanical whoosh of air forced into your lungs. I still remember your stories - words flowing freely in your cramped and scrawling hand; a voice to replace that stolen by the tube which kept you alive. Tales of your only daughter - of cupcakes and belly aches, a lonely walk down the aisle, and the grandkids you would never meet. I will never forget the final message you wrote me, just two simple words smudged by our joint tears, as I wiped the whiteboard clean one last time - your smile unobstructed, and those eyes: somehow brave yet terrified, and blue and grey all at once.
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