Click here to read Excerpt 7.
To The Hospital
It’s time for baby Krista to have the surgery which will close the hole in her heart. While Debbie knows the operation is the only thing that will save Krista’s life, she doesn’t want to let her go.
Mom hands me Krista to hold while Daddy helps her with her coat. Then he reaches for the baby.
I look down at Krista, who peeks out from all her wrappings and offers me a grin. I smile back even as my eyes fill with tears. Rolling her closer in toward my body, I can’t hand her over to Daddy’s waiting arms.
“Debbie.” His voice is gentle but firm. He doesn’t need to say anything more.
I allow him to take Krista from me.
Mom leans over the table and kisses each of the boys. She wraps her arms around me, pulls me close, and kisses the top of my head. “It will be all right, sweetie. Don’t cry.”
Which only makes the tears fall faster.
She steps away. “Be good.” After making eye contact with each of us, Mom turns and follows Daddy to the garage.
We wave goodbye from the front door until the car is out of sight. Grandma will arrive in the afternoon, but for the time being we’re on our own to get ready for school. I have plenty of time to hide in my room and have a good cry.
The boys don’t tease me. They don’t say anything. Without a word, they get dressed and watch cartoons while I try to drain all the sorrow out of my system. Soggy tissues fill my trash can.
Not being able to see Krista for a month, maybe more, is almost the same as Krista being dead. And the ordeal is only beginning. Every day I’ll wonder if she’s hurting. Every day Mom will drive back and forth to a hospital almost two hours away. Daddy will go to work, take care of the rest of us kids, and still try to get to the hospital lots of days. Poor Mom. Poor Daddy. Poor baby. Poor me.
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