A few weeks ago was my first Slice of Life post, and it was funny. Well, I tried to make it funny. Today’s is not.
I have horrible hearing. I have to blast the tv to hear it. My husband is the opposite. He gets up in the morning and rides the exercise bike in the loft, watching sports center on the tv, which is below, in the great room.
I can’t hear the tv standing next to it while he’s on the bike. He can hear it just fine over the spin of the wheels. Yes, I’m hard of hearing. Though, I do manage to still have that great teacher hearing. That’s right, kiddos. I can hear you just fine!
Back to my hearing. Aside from the classroom kid hearing, I have a new gift. I’m Radar.
Probably most of you don’t know who Radar O’Reilly is.
The popular 70’s show MASH, was set in Korea at a mobile army hospital. It had a wonderful cast of characters, and Radar was the company clerk, and he could hear the choppers before anyone else. Pre-nowadays-technology, he was the first to say, “Choppers.” A huge gift that prepared the nurses and surgeons for the incoming wounded they would treat at mobile hospital.
I can hear choppers now too, before anyone else. Even Danny.
When Danny got sick, after hours of surgery, his surgeons said his only chance would be to be airlifted to Anschutz in Denver. After hours of being told he wouldn’t survive, this last chance was a desperate hope. My friends drove me to their house, where they had to look up the address for Anschutz hospital, and where we had to grab supplies for what we knew would be a long days and weeks at the hospital. Luckily, it was months, not days. He survived. But. That was a long time to fight.
So, when we left the hospital as they were preparing him for the flight, we drove to our friends’. I had no idea that he hadn’t left the hospital yet. I was standing alone in their driveway, on February 11th, 2011. The flight for life chopper went right overhead, and I looked up, feeling like he’d just touched me and said, come and get me. For the first time that day, after being told with solemn assurance that he would die, I had hope. It was a distant hope, nebulous and surreal.
And I heard “Fortunate Son” by Credence Clearwater Revival.
A lot of people ask me if I had hope right away, and I tell them honestly, that I didn’t. The doctors were quite clear how sick he was. They operated for hours and called surgeons across the country. All of the brilliant doctors said he didn’t have a chance.
But a surgeon at Anschutz said he’d still try to save him. He would have to do aggressive surgery, and if it worked, he’d have weeks and months of lots of touch and go...and. Likely, he still wouldn’t survive.
I was asked if they could try to save him.
I remember being in shock and being concerned about what they might need to do. But I asked them to try.
But when Danny flew right over me. Well. That was a sign.
And I’m reminded of that every time I hear a chopper.
I just heard one. I’m home, and I heard it coming. I heard the thumping before it became the resonating deep timber of the rotating blades.
I hear like Radar. I’m the first out the door, scanning the skies.
It hits me first with a deep traumatic sensory memory. Then it shifts as I look to see if it’s military, other. Or flight for life.
It was flight for life, and I stilled myself, praying that the person in the chopper would be okay, and sending bountiful gratitude for the flight for life crew and the doctors, nurses, everyone. All these people who deal with trauma day in and day out. All in service to others.
Gratitude: medical people.
Goals: remind myself of my gratitude for everything.
I cried when I wrote this, so I’m guessing some of my emotion got through in this. I like to feel moved when I write. I should always smile, cry, laugh, wonder, when I’m writing. I don’t think that I stayed enough on topic though. The slice of life was supposed to be about hearing choppers well, and I feel like I didn’t come around to that as well as I should have. It was also hard to reference being “Radar” to an audience who is unfamiliar with the impact of that. But, my audience can internet search “MASH” and “Fortunate Son”.