By Sandra Perrenot
I can remember the first time I was really aware of how important it is to breathe. I had just jumped off a wall and missed the tree branch I was aiming for; I was lying on my back like a goldfish on a rug gasping for air. Anyone who has ever had the wind knocked out of them knows that feeling. Sweet, sweet oxygen… We breathe all the time, in blessed unawareness of the life that fills our lungs.
I remember rushing to the hospital trying to remember all the crap I read about childbirth. Pant, they said! Breathe through the pain. And so gasping and panting I welcomed my babies to the world. They have made me gasp, pant and breathe through many moments of joy… and pain.
Breathing on the way to reach my Sarah when she called needing help, “Mom he hit me,” she said sobbing. Preston was concentrating on driving to her and me? I was just trying to breathe. In… two, three, four…out two…three four. Just get me there to see with my own eyes that she’s ok. The detached part of my brain was wondering why I needed to tell myself how to suck air in?
In the car, I’m driving mom home. She’s hooked to her oxygen tank and I’m listening to every breath. Walking from the house to the car takes a lot out of her. “Breathe through your nose, mom. Suck in lots of oxygen…slowly….do you feel better now?” Unconsciously I breathe in rhythm with her, but somehow it feels right. For nine months her air was mine. It’s hard for both of us. She’s breathing through the ravages of her aging body. I’m breathing through the iron band of pain circling my heart. She labored to bring me to life, and now both of us are laboring as she leaves her own life behind. No one ever tells you what hard work it is to die.
And now I lay me down to sleep. I will breathe, and dream, and somewhere I will find the oxygen I need for tomorrow, and for the tomorrows to come. I can do this. All I need to do is breathe.
This is our showcase page, containing various submissions from various Authors. Please look for snippets about the Authors following their pieces.