Ironically, the weather is always horrible whenever an urgent trip to the Emergency Room presents itself. Looking outside the window, I see that it's pouring. Again. As if the universe acknowledges our heavy hearts.
The taxi driver politely suggests several different ways to take us to the hospital. I quickly reply that money or distance isn't our concern at all, but speed is. That single sentence is all he needs to ignore any speeding limits and drive us to the hospital as safely as the rain possibly lets him. When he hands me my change, we speak again. "It is bad, ma'am?" My gut says yes, but I don't know if I dare to say that out loud. Kenji is waiting and I shouldn't be stalling and so I nod. "Then good luck ma'am."

--

It is way past midnight and we have been waiting at the Emergency Room for hours. Kenji needs to be hospitalized, but there aren't any beds available. Not in this hospital, or in any other hospital in town. The thought of an ambulance ride at this hour and being transferred to God knows where makes me sick. Across the hall patients are being picked up and taken to a hospital I suspect is 25 kilometers away.

--

"Hello again darling!" The senior oncology nurse wraps an arm around my waist. She must be doing the night shift often, because this isn't the first time we're meeting at night. Kenji hasn't been hospitalized in a year and apparently our streak of luck is over... I know his doctors must have been moving heaven and earth to keep him at his 'second home' and I feel strangely relieved when I head home. I wouldn't want him to be anywhere else but here.

--

I get three and a half hours of sleep. It's hard to really wake up until I suddenly realize I have to tell the boys that Kenji isn't there. That beats any alarm clock. Of course I don't need to say a word, because as soon as they see our half empty bed, they already know the drill. "Oh no! This has happened before", Little Brother exclaims. As I said, we're all trained professionals after four years.

--

The boys notice how stupid it is that I switch off all the lights when we leave for school. "If papa would have been home, you could have left them on." Correct. Big Brother stamps on the stairs. "It is not FAIR. This day is just an ordinary day for EVERYBODY else. Except for US." Correct again. And so I hold their little hands in mine and as we walk together, I tell them it is okay to be sad and talk about it. On the other hand it is just as okay to let the ordinary things at school take over from the sadness, even though that is only a temporary solution.

--

It's less than 24 hours after that taxi ride. As you can probably guess, I've been opting for many temporary solutions today. The bed will be half empty tonight as well.


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