It's quiet this morning.  There are very few sounds outside, which is remarkable considering the sounds of sirens that filled the air last night.  Inside there is the sound of the boys toenails on the wooden floor, the purr of the kitty and soft sound of the heater warming the house.

Yesterday is a day that will always be remembered in this country.  We are now right up there with Watts, Detroit, New York City and Miami.  There are businesses that a community needed to survive that are gone, forever no doubt, because who wants to rebuild something when idiots will burn it to the ground just because they didn't get their way?


It was surely a high stress day.  It started out with a very stressed out hubby going in for a major surgery.  It sounds so common place and benign.  Oh... he's going in for a hip replacement, sounds almost like you are going to get a new pair of pants.  They are that common nowadays.

It wasn't.

before it all begins...
Apprehension just grew as the day went on.  His veins did not want to cooperate and kept rolling out of the way, they could not even get an IV started.  Maybe his fears of the day were not so far fetched after all. One ultrasound later they were finally able to locate a vein start an IV and do the spinal block.  While I was waiting out in the waiting room the television announce the Grand Jury had made a decision... One wait was ending, another was starting...

I was able to keep reassuring my drugged, sleepy hubby that he going to be just fine and that even though he was scared it was going to be just fine.  Luckily he doesn't remember any of that, poor guy.  Listening to him made me sad, he knows how to scare me sometimes, evidently even when he is out of it.

As they took him to surgery the doctor smiled that reassuring smile, said he'd see me in an hour and off they went.  Confidence evident in the doctors smile and walk.  I felt strong and positive.  I knew he was in good hands and I didn't need to worry.

I chose the seat in front of the aquarium, watching the gentle motion of the fish always calms me.  I was armed with snacks for lunch since I knew I did not want to leave the waiting room. My yarn and needles to work on a pair of socks, my nook in case I got tired of knitting, and my cell phone with back up batteries.  I was ready to take on that measly little hour surgery. Fully expecting to see him in a couple of hours.  Believing the confident statement.

The news tickers at the bottom of the television screen started talking about the upcoming announcement. The Governor was flying in, they had activated troops from great distances away.  Both the police and national guard. There was fear it would not be received well, wrapped in a cloak of prayers that St. Louis would show the world that we are better than that.

That first hour flew by.  Several inches of sock emerged from my needles.  Causal conversation about knitting with a couple of the folks in the waiting room.  News getting bleaker and more ominous on the television.  Watching the board with numbers... 385331... still the light green of being in surgery...

I should have spoken with the doctor by 1:30 pm, according to him. Taking into consideration that sometimes things take a bit longer I was patient... 2:00 pm, no worries. Around 2:30 pm without any warning the most terrifying feeling overcame me.  I don't know why, I am sort of sensitive to things and it was hard to breathe.  I am far from an irrational person, so a few deep breaths and a more concentrated approach to knitting - although my needles were moving slower at this point.

By 3:00 pm, I was seriously regretting my decision to not make everyone sit around a boring hospital.  The news on the television was bleak and foreboding and it radiated around the waiting room as everyone was fixated on the outcome.  That surgery should have been over by 1:30/2:00 pm at worst case according to the surgeon.  And the only answer available to me was that silly sign that still showed 385331 was still in surgery. I was texting my daughter, trying to stay rational.  In my brain I could hear hubby telling me in his very drugged state that he was not going to make it and that he was sorry.  I was struggling to stay calm and not automatically fear the worst.  Everyone was wanting updates and I had nothing to give. The panic was starting to set in.

I don't like hospitals and have very little trust in doctors of any kind.  Too many bad things have occurred when they shouldn't have... The twins are wanting to come see Dad before the verdict is read, afraid to be on the roads after it has been read... too many promises of violence had the communities that make up St. Louis terrified.  Our own home grown terrorists.

Just as I was sure I was going to lose my mind, just when I couldn't take another moment of waiting at 3:45 pm a very exhausted surgeon, minus the confident air and swagger came out to meet with me.  Hubby was fine. The surgery had ended up being more involved than they expected and his muscular thighs from years of horseback riding and motorcycle's had presented them a few more challenges than expected.  But he was just fine.

As I was soaking up the joy of the moment, the air around me was starting to get that oppressive fear laden atmosphere. The media was building up the moment to the announcement. A community was waiting poised with literal matches, ready to strike the first one.

Night before surgery ice cream treat

Our beautiful grand baby, and her wonderful momma stopped by yesterday morning.  GB wanted to bring her Grandpa some flowers and Snickers before he went to the hospital.  She's lost a lot this year, it's only made her love and compassion deeper.  Those roses and the chocolate bar sure made us both a bit teary eyed.  But nothing was as powerful as the smile that came flying through the door at the hospital.  Eyes bright and expectant at seeing her Grandpa on the road to recovery.  My girl stopped and brought us some dinner, although Hubs was having a pretty amazing one courtesy of the hospital.

They didn't stay long, the impending news from the Grand Jury and the worry about the response was enough to make it not safe.

I was watching the news with hubby and a nurse when the "no bill" was announced.  Driving home a bit later, the sound of sirens echoing in the air... Wondering how much worse tomorrow would be... it's not over.  Far from it.  The family attorney is promising a civil suit, the outside forces are throwing more powder on an already explosive situation.  And an area that for whatever reason has been a racial powder keg appears to have gone up in flames.

In a week that should be filled with family, love and blessings.  A chance to be thankful for all we have, we are left wondering what a new day will bring.  Praying for less violence and more peace.  Praying for rational to overcome irrational.  And wondering how it got this far down the road.

I am heading back to the hospital.  I want to be there with hubby as he starts the therapy that will get him back on that blue Harley with a devil may care look in his eyes.  And I want to beat the folks that shut down the highways last night.  

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