Til breath do us part


I lay in bed next to my husband, the natural gap of a king sized bed and 15 years of marriage between us.

I kid. It’s a happy gap, everybody needs their own space! Although the joy of one of our children lying between us was something we always treasured, and happens less and less now. Nothing like a sweaty toddler pressing his knees into your back all night long, and elbowing you in the face, to make you feel grateful and fulfilled.

Nevertheless, my husband likes to sleep on the edge, and I like to sleep on the edge.

Rebels of sorts.

These domains were established long ago. Back at his apartment, before we got married, when I would only nap there. We would start in the middle of the bed, in a warm embrace, and then we would drift apart in search of a cooler spot. Only feet or toes touching, as I slept on the right edge, and he on the left.

We took many naps together back then.

Well, let’s just say we lay down a lot, and eventually, napping was had.

But there was also snoring, my God could my husband snore. It snores in his family.

Anyhow, present day, I was laying in bed, praying, as I often do, but particularly when I’m having trouble falling asleep.

It puts me right out. Sorry God; I guess you are the great Comforter.

Well, I’m laying there “Dear Lord, and I pray for my kids. I love them so much. Thank you. And I pray for my husband. He doesn’t listen, but I love him.”

My husband. I thought, eyes opening.

I tapped my Iphone and squinted at the time. 11:52 pm.

The AC had clicked off.

I could hear… nothing. Just the sound of nothing. The muted sound of life. Like a giant TV is on, but the screen is just black. The “life buzz”.

My husband….

Is he breathing?

Oh God. What if he’s dead! What if he stopped breathing, and I hadn’t noticed. I’m almost certain he has sleep apnea, undiagnosed, of course, because he’ll never go to a doctor, or wear one of those masks.

Oh my gosh. How long has it been? I can’t remember. I dont think he’s snored in minutes.

Maybe I should turn over and check on him. But It’s so dark I won’t be able to see if he’s breathing. I could just reach out an arm, and poke him. Maybe it’ll startle a breath out of him.

But…. What if he doesn’t startle. What if when I touch his arm his skin is cold. And stiff. What if. He’s dead…

Oh my gosh. But I’m so tired. I really don’t wanna turn over.

Can you imagine? And then I wake up in the morning and he IS dead? Stiff as a board? How would that 911 call go.

Dispatcher: So you thought he was dead? And what did you do?

Me: Well, I was worried sick. I didn’t sleep a wink all night thinking he might be dead.

I could never admit it. That I didn’t check on him when the doubt rose up in the silence. Everyone would think I’m a monster for not checking and just giving him my back all night long. But I was so tired, and I had found that sweet spot. I could barely get through my prayer without yawning.

But the kids, they’d wake up for school. And their father. Dead!

I grab my phone. I have to do something.

I open my Nest app and the AC clicks on.

Oh the beautiful soothing sounds of machinery kicking on. Fresh air blowing on my neck. I bundle up under the covers.

Woman! Snap out of it.

I should just turn over and check on him. Who am I kidding, I’m just so tired. He’s fine. He’s fine! He’s not dead. I’m being ridiculous. This whole train of thought is insane.

Maybe I should see a doctor.

And then suddenly, it happens. The life force vibrates through his chest and with one large mountainous snort he’s back. Snoring in a regular obnoxious rhythm.

I let out a deep breath of relief.

Oh, thank God. I don’t have to turn over.

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