“KATE……KATE, where are you?” Aaron yelled as he painfully searched for his wife an then it all went black.
Kate, sat at her husband’s hospital bedside praying that he would wake up.
“Mrs. Butler, would you like me to get you some water”, the nurse asked. Kate looked up at her with weary eyes.
“Oh…um… Yes please, and some ice chips so I can wet his lips.”
The nurse left the hospital room, praying silently for Aaron Butler’s recovery too. It’s been almost 2 weeks since the accident, and each hour that passes reduces his chance at waking up. If he does wake up, what will he be like, she thought to herself.
“Nancy, what’s bugging you”, another nurse asked.
“Oh it’s that couple in there, they are the kindest people I know. I just can’t believe this is happening to them. They were out celebrating their 5 year wedding anniversary”, Nurse Nancy replied sadly.
“Who are they”, came the inquisitive response.
“Aaron and Kate Butler teach art classes at the college. Their artwork is everywhere. Look closely to the art work in most of the waiting rooms, it’s by them” she responded as she filled the water cup for Mrs. Butler. Nancy pulled the other nurse to the window. “Look over there…see that mural on the side of the diner?”
“Yes, I love that! Did they paint that?” the nurse replied.
“Yep, it was one of theirs. Mt. Shasta looks so big and real, and of course only the locals know of the little scene at the bottom of the mountain” she smiled to herself.
“I always wondered about that”, the nurse responded. “I couldn’t quiet tell what it meant. It looked like they had white gowns or robes on” she continued while she squinted to look at the image in the distance.
“Well Rachel, you may be an implant to Klamath Falls, but we’ll have you talking like a local in no time” Nancy laughed, “Legend says that the lost continent of Lemuria sank, and that some of the people did survive and they live in series of tunnels under and around Mt. Shasta. That’s what those people are at the bottom. In fact…rumor has it that in the early 1900’s a man named J.C Brown found the tunnels, but no one would believe him. That is until 30 years later….about 80 men gathered and they were going to explore. But on the morning they were due to leave, Brown never showed up. He completely disappeared. No one ever went to search after that so
the existence of the Lemurians remains a mystery.”
Nancy picked up the water and ice chips and headed back to Aaron Butler’s room.
Rachel of course, stood there stunned for a moment then ran after her.
Kate jumped from her seat when the nurses came in, “NANCY! I’m so glad your back, I don’t know what’s going on. He squeezed my hand and he’s trying to say something but that thing is in his mouth!
“Doctor!” Nancy yelled as she put down the cups.
As Dr. Nagle came into the room she saw what was going on, “He’s waking up!”
Kate moved back as the Dr. and nurse removed the tube from his mouth.
Aaron coughed as the tube came out and in a raspy voice asked “Where am I, here is my wife Kate WHERE ARE YOU?”
Kate stared in disbelief, “Aaron I’m standing here, looking at you” She was puzzled at his
question as she clutched his hand tightly.
Dr. Nagle and Nancy looked at one another knowingly.
“Kate…the baby! Are you ok, is the baby ok?”
“Oh Aaron,” Kate spoke softly as she kissed his hand, “Yes, we are ok.” Kate took his hand and
laid it on her growing belly. “We are beyond ok now that you are awake,” she smiled but the
tears still fell from her eyes as she looked at him.
“Why can’t I see you?” Aaron pleaded.
“Aaron….Kate…. I was afraid this might happen” Dr. Nagle began “You see, when the car hit Aaron’s side of the car, his head hit really hard. That’s why he’s been out of it for so long.” Aaron cut in forcing his voice to be heard, “Wait…what?! How long have I been unconscious?” Kate spoke up, “Aaron you’ve been in a coma for almost 2 weeks.”
“I WHAT!” Aaron tried to yell but started coughing again.
Kate placed a cup of water into his hand and helped him drink little sips of it.
“Please, Aaron, let’s hear what the Dr. Has to say.”
Aaron laid his head back in disbelief as the Dr. went on with a bunch of medical words he knew nothing of.
“Dr. Nagle”, Aaron interrupted, “in all honesty I don’t understand a word you are saying. Just tell me when my eyesight will return?”
His question remained unanswered as no one responded.
“Hello…are you people still here?” Aaron asked sarcastically.
Kate sat by his side and leaned down to rest her head on his chest. The Dr. and nurses left the room.
“Babe… tell me what’s going on, I’m begging you. I can’t see you, I can’t see anything and I’m not getting any answers. What is going on?”
Kate began slowly, “Do you remember that drink driver hitting us?”
“Yes” he replied
“We got smacked around pretty hard and the car rolled over, you were bleeding from your head you had cuts and scrapes all over your face and hands. You were yelling for me and trying to move through the car when the windshield cracked above your head as someone came to try and help us.” Kate’s voice began to quiver as she remembered the horrible sight. “You got pieces of glass in your eyes. The pain was so much that you went unconscious.”
Aaron began remembering as tears filled his eyes.
Kate slowly continued, “we had hoped that during this whole time that you’ve been out of it, that your eyes might heal. But the Dr. couldn’t be sure until you woke up.” Kate sat up.
“Aaron, they can’t say for sure right now, what will happen with your vision.”
They laid there in silence for a very long time, just taking in the smell and feel of each other.
Kate was so happy to have him back, but Aaron wasn’t so sure that he was the best thing for her now.
Aaron spoke, “I may never set eyes on my baby… what kind of a dad can I be if I can’t see.”
Aaron began to get angry and his voice grew louder and louder, “I may never see my kid, I may
never paint again, and for WHAT!! Because someone felt the need to go out drinking and then drive! I did nothing to them! I’m a good person! Why Kate!! Tell me why this had to happen.” Through her tear filled eyes, Kate held him tight. “Aaron, I don’t know why it happened. But I do know this, you are still a good person, and you will be an amazing Dad. We don’t know if your vision will return or not. They aren’t sure if it’s from the glass or from swelling in your brain. But what I do know is that you are a smart and wonderful man. Things may not be the same as before, but they will still be as good. We just have a new normal. Losing your eyesight doesn’t make you less than….you are greater! We will have things to learn, but we’ll be fine.”
A few days later, Aaron was released from the hospital and his friends and family filled their home with laughter as they greeted him. After everyone left, he grabbed Kate’s hand, “well…it’s true.”
“What’s true” she inquired as she slipped her arms around his neck.
“When you lose one sense the others are heightened. I can’t believe how loud it got in here, and I could hear things I hadn’t realized before.”
“Hey Aaron, do you want to learn to see with your ears” she asked, well aware of how funny it sounded.
“HAH! Ok, I give…what do you mean to see with my ears”, he asked.
Kate took his hand and led him to the front porch and guided him to a chair. Ok, so close your eyes.”
Aaron chuckled, “not sure it would matter if they were open or closed.”
“oops…yeah, I guess you’re right, Sorry” she said as she bit her lip.
“Just teasing…please teach me to see with my ears” he chided.
She placed her hand on his arm, “what do you see?”
“The back of my eyelids”, he joked.
She laughed, “try harder….look with your ears. What do you hear”, she asked again.
“I hear children playing…the sprinkler. Ooohhhh…I hear Mr. Richardson’s dog barking, he must have found Old Lady Merrill’s cat, I can hear it hissing”, he responded.
“Great Aaron, she squealed with delight, “now what do you feel” she asked.
“I feel the warmth of the sun, and a breeze” he responded, smiling. My wife really is brilliant, he thought to himself.
“Perfect Aaron” she squealed again and smiled at him.
“Ok, Aaron, now what do you see” she asked as she leaned over to kiss him.
He pulled her into his arms, “I see the most beautiful and exasperating woman I have ever met, I see a woman who will be an amazing and patient mother. Ya’ know what else?”
“After all of that, I’m afraid to ask” she responded with a hint of laughter in her voice.
“I can feel her too”, he said as he held her and kissed her growing belly.
“Aaron things may not be the way we wanted them, but they are still perfect. I love you so very much.”
Aaron loved this amazing woman more than he could ever tell her, what a blessing she is.
“I love you more”, and he kissed her softly.