Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I carry your heart

My mom told me that two months ago she was talking to her friends and commenting that her life was in a very happy and quiet phase.

That is not the case today.  I haven't mentioned it here yet but last week my sister-in-law was hit by a drunk driver while she was out running at 8 in the morning.  He left her on the side of the road.  Don't worry, that's the most horrific part of the story because after that fate seemed to be heavy in her corner.  A man driving by (we think about 15 min later) saw her.  He used to be an EMT and he pulled over and called an ambulance. While he waited for the ambulance he said a prayer over her (which makes me tear up just thinking about it) blessing her with strength and healing.  All of these incredible things happened (like the mail woman pulling over and when Kari said her name and her street the mail woman ran to go and get my brother because she knew the house and the drunk driver actually being insured) and Kari is very injured but doing well.  She broke both legs, her collar bone, her pelvis and has a crack in her cervical spine.  She is bruised and beat up and in so much pain but she had no internal or brain damage.  We feel very very lucky even though she is looking at 2 months in a recovery center and lots and lots of physical therapy. 

In addition to that in the last two months our family has had a new baby (with another shortly to arrive), questions about jobs and moms and working and staying home, a visit from our dear family that lives in France and an uncle who is dying from cancer who has moved into my parent's house.  My own little family is looking at difficult financial decisions (all trying to be made while 7.5 months pregnant makes for lots of tears) and to add insult to injury I was trying to cut back on diet coke and Claire is suddenly incapable of making decisions but cries like a banshee if you make them for her.  

I was talking to my mom on the phone this morning and as we were hanging up she said, "my heart is with you and Claire and Nathan" and I thought of this poem and started crying again for about the upteenth time this week.

EE Cummings- i carry your heart

 i carry your heart with me(i carry it in 
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere 
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done 
by only me is your doing,my darling) 

 i fear 
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want 
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) 
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant 
and whatever a sun will always sing is you.

here is the deepest secret nobody knows 
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud 
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows 
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) 
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

 i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

The greatest blessing and greatest risk of living in families and attaching ourselves to other people in meaningful ways is that we carry each other's hearts.  And when Kari is in the hospital bruised and broken and hurting our hearts we feel it.  When teary financial decisions are being made by family, when new babies won't sleep though the night and have food allergies we ache because the people we love ache.
From all I have found, in the long run, the blessing is so much greater than the risk.


  1. I love this. Your last paragraph especially. I feel like my life before was largely absent of family. I mean, I'd visit my family, but I was always secretly happy to leave and be alone again. And now, I'm never alone. This has made me think about family a lot. What do I really believe about it (husbands presiding and all that???) and how do I balance it with the time I need to be an introvert and how terrified it makes me when I consider losing him (I'm still adjusting to how much I love him. I didn't expect it) even though it feels so much harder/risky this way with all this attachment.

    It's all so weird/tricky/wonderful.

  2. Oh my gosh..."I'm still adjusting to how much I love him. I didn't expect it"...five years in, and I'm still feeling this way. It is terrifying and amazing.

    Love and healing to your family, Sallee.

    1. I'm glad it's possible long term. We're only 7 months in. I keep waiting for it to wear off, and it's not. I'm glad it doesn't have to.