Brake

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pulled up to a busy intersection during morning commute.  The light was red and a large number of cars quickly accumulated.

Off in the distance, we watched as an ambulance appeared in the opposite lane of traffic. The lights were flashing and the sirens blared as it quickly descended on our intersection. Behind me a few blocks was the hospital – the same hospital where Graham had been taken.  In fact, he may have ridden in the exact same vehicle that was now zooming toward me.  The heroes inside may have been the same men and woman who breathed into my son and smashed his small chest.

And suddenly tears welled in my eyes and began dripping down my cheeks.

Reality blurred with emotion and the nameless soul inside this particular ambulance became my son, I just couldn’t help it.  I sat there, crying alone in my car – willing my boy to breath – begging Jesus to save him all over again.

Before the ambulance had a chance to reach us, the stoplight turned green.  Everyone had somewhere to be, but our block of 20 or more cars remained eerily still.  Not one car rolled forward even a little, not one set of brake lights flickered.  I caught my breath and suddenly noticed  the motionless force of humanity that surrounded me and I was unexpectedly connected -buoyed up.

Each car held a person with a foot on the brake pedal… all of us in silent, powerful agreement that life was worth fighting for.  That Graham was worth fighting for.  It didn’t matter that he was already gone – the fact that he had lived at all was reason enough to hold our feet firm. It was a voiceless validation that death is the enemy and life is so very precious.

I understand that ignoring a green light in the presence of an ambulance is simply a social construct that stems from practicality, but on that morning it was so. much. more.  A small piece of the world came together for him… for me… and it was beautiful.

Phantom

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A flicker of a moment, a wisp of an impulse… I thought to check on my sleeping son, in a room that has been empty of him for 9 months. Like the phantom itch of an amputee, my heart still beats to mother him.