Her Heart

A dear friend just endured open heart surgery.  Her heart.  Opened.  Now she has always lived a life with an open heart, loving and laughing and giving to others, but this was different and frightening.  Her heart truly opened and laid bare in a way that it should never be.  Open to the bright hot lights of the operating room and a surgeon’s eyes and hands.  Did the secrets that everyone holds in their heart, that vessel of the soul, fly away at that first cut or when the light hit them?  Or did they burrow deeper, hiding in the dark they could still find?  Her sweet pink happy secrets, frightened and blushing.  Her hidden angry secrets buzzing around and dissipating in the sudden hot light.   Her burnished marble lifetime treasures disturbed and rattled.

She says she felt her mother and her father, both passed on, helping her and holding her and perhaps in opening her heart, there was a gap bridged that few are privileged to feel.  Now, in her recovery, she loses time.  Lapses of memory that shake her composure.  It is a normal result of the trauma, they say.  A normal consequence of the pain medications, of the time spent in Intensive Care.  Perhaps it is more.  Perhaps as her heart heals, that bridge to the ether is no longer necessary.  As her heart heals, that temporary bridge is vaporizing and healing too.  The river of love from friends and family, poured out to a hospital in Boston, and to a school in Massachusetts and to Seattle, to soothe her children, has taken over like snowmelt and watered the new soil and washed it smooth and carried her beyond that elemental link.

She says she can feel her heart beating in a new way, and I see her husband put his hand on her back while she sleeps at home to feel it beating hard and strong for the first time ever.  Beating with life and gratitude.  Beating hard and strong in connection to the past and most certainly to the future.

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