Andy and I have been sitting on the couches of our living room staring at a tv that is not on, in complete silence, for about 10 minutes.
Aside from my tear filled “thank you,” in the center of the restaurant, we haven’t spoken since 12:o5pm Eastern Time.
And I only know that because in my clenched hand is my iphone, still showing the recent call history of 911.
I don’t even think we’ve exhaled yet. We just keep sitting here, staring, reaching our hand out to brush along each child as they run by, going about their day as if nothing happened.
But, just before 12:05pm Eastern today, after the waitress of our favorite local lunch spot placed the bill on our table, after the kids reached for the hard candy mints and after Andy challenged me to try and figure out the tip without using an app… we looked up to find Jude, not breathing.
His eyes were wide and full of terror, his skin was grey, his hands were on the table, and he was silent. Had we not looked up at that moment, we wouldn’t have noticed it at all. The round hard candy had become completely lodged in his windpipe. He wasn’t breathing, he wasn’t talking, he couldn’t make a sound.
I screamed his name and jumped from my chair. I know that it fell over, I distinctly remember my brain systemically going through the varies techniques from CPR class years ago, and I remember Andy lunging at our oldest son, and performing the Heimlich on my suddenly small 7 year old boy.
After the first thrust, I screamed his name and reached for my phone to call 911. I can’t tell you how many it took. I lost count until the moment I heard a cough of air exploded from his tiny mouth, and the candy flew out and Andy and I grabbed him in our arms and I said “thank you.”
As if he hadn’t saved mine enough already… he went and saved the life of our son.
These are all the words I can muster today, so I’ll leave you with this…
1. Thank you for saving our son, Andy. Please take these tears and pounds of snot I am leaving on the sleeve of your shirt as prepayment on the foreverness of gratitude I owe you.