Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The After Life

My husband died at the dentist today. Not for long and not for serious. But he was dead for a bit. It’s not the first time.

He walked into our bedroom after his dental appointment, looking chagrined.  Chagrined is a pretty word that means, “It’s possible that I threw up or passed out in the office of a health care provider and made a spectacle of myself.” You know, chagrined.  

“How did it go? Did you ralph?” It’s a fair question; there is a certain historical precedent.

“Not this time,” he mumbled around a mouth full of Novocain and then he sighed around a mouth full of Novocain.

The sigh tipped me off.

“Oh no! What did you do?”

“Ummmm,” he said, followed by some mumbling and then more mumbling and then, “I sort of . . . lost all my blood pressure.”

This got my attention. I perked up like a Cocker Spaniel on crack.

“Define lost.”

“Well, first I got the shots. Then I got clammy. Then I got nauseas. Then my blood pressure went away and they started talking about me like I wasn’t in the room. You know, ‘I can’t get a reading,’ and ‘There’s been two beats in sixty seconds.’ Stuff like that.”

“You died.” I pressed my hands to my steadily beating heart.

“I didn’t die. I kept telling them that I was fine, but they didn’t seem to hear me. And then they gave me oxygen.”

“Because you died. Was there a bright light?”

“Sure. And it was shining right in my eyes. It was the exam light. I didn’t die. “

“Not the way I’m going to tell it. The way I’m going to tell it is that you did die, saw a bright light, started toward it, thought about how much you adore and worship me, and then turned around to spend the rest of the next hundred or so years loving on me. Okay.”

He walked over and gave me a droopy, Novocain laced kiss on the forehead.  He reached out and squeezed my shoulder.

“You tell it anyway you want. They did tell me that they had 911 on speed dial.”

I reached up and squeezed the hand squeezing me.

“I’m glad you didn’t die for serious.”

He smiled. His mouth only looked a little bit goofy. My heart skipped a beat . . . or two.

Linda (Heart Smart) Zern


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