May 11, 2019.
Indie Author Day
I was sitting in an ER with my husband Lee for the second time in a little over a week. Needless to say, I was terrified again, and so I did what I do when I can’t function, I prayed, and then I sat in the chair, and I wrote this post.
Thursday, a week ago, Lee helped me box up 111 books to send out across the country to a group called The Book Fairies. The Book Fairies are a wonderful organization that puts books out in public places around the world. What a gift that is! Free books!
I had reached out to The Book Fairies months ago and asked if we might donate. I was so happy when they said yes and asked how many we would like to give. 111 of course. Why 111? Many of you know this story, but for those of you who might not, 111 is a number that always reminds me of my little brother Griffen. It’s a long story, but it has appeared more times than I can count since Griffen passed on on May 15, 2007. It is a sign from beyond.
It hasn’t occurred to me until now that in four days, Griffen will have been gone twelve whole years. The time seems like yesterday and forever all at once.
Anyway, Lee helped me box up the books. When we got to the car, I wanted to take his picture with them, but he insisted on taking mine. Everything seemed good and beautiful and right with the world. More right than it had felt in a very long time. We had lost our dog Forrest back in March, and that had been extremely hard for all of us.
The Book Fairies came along at just the right time.
We were thrilled to be getting the chance to share All the Way to Heaven and Back and Griffen with others. This opportunity would put us across the country. I even did a little dance as I thanked God for this door opening.
Lee and I came home, and I was inside working. Lee was outside trying to be sure that this colony of bats who had taken up residence at our place the year before couldn’t get back in. We’d bought them new houses and was in the process of making sure that was where they went to live.
We hired a company to come to do it just so Lee wouldn’t be at risk. Even still, Lee went out to help. The bat specialist needed to leave early, and I should have insisted Lee wait for help, but I didn’t.
I heard a loud thump and knew that Lee had fallen. I ran outside to find him unresponsive. The way he landed reminded me so much of the morgue photos I had seen of Griffen. I honestly believed that the fall had broken Lee’s neck.
I could see that his eyes were open and not blinking. Inside I was freaking entirely out. Running to his side, I dropped to my knees. I didn’t remember this initially, but as I rethought the incident I remembered saying, “Oh my God Lee you have broken your neck!” With Lee not blinking or moving I began to plead, “Please God! Please, God! Please, God!” There was no response at all. So, I started begging Lee not to leave me. “Please Lee, please Lee, please don’t leave me!”
Of all the things in this world that is the one thing that I have never wanted to imagine — a life without Lee. I recognize that one of us will eventually die, but I’ve never wanted to think about that one being Lee. I would be okay if I dropped dead in the next moment, but I am not ready for Lee to go.
I didn’t want to leave him alone if he was indeed dead or dying. He didn’t appear to be breathing and could have been gone as far as I could tell. In shock for sure, my mind wanted to stay right there by his side…to death do us part as I promised twenty-seven years ago if that was what this meant.
It finally hit me that we needed help. I ran and called 911 and then ran and opened our gate. I ran as fast as I could back to Lee. He still wasn’t responsive when I got back to him. Then he blinked. Thank God! I asked was he okay, and he said yes. I hung up with 911 and put him in the car and drove him to the ER. Probably extremely stupid to have done so in hindsight but I did it anyway.
I had seen Lee injured many times but none like this. He just kept asking me over and over what happened. When we got to the ER, Lee collapsed. My sweet cousin Tracy and I got him into a wheelchair, and he turned and asked me where Forrest was. I wanted to cry. Forrest passed away on March ninth. I lied and told him that Forrest was home with Zoe waiting for us.
A CT Scan showed no bleeds or fractures. Thank God! We came home. He’s been resting and sleeping for over a week.
No matter what we did the pain continued which was expected but last night it got worse, and that is what brought us back to the ER today — unbearable head pain. I wanted to be sure everything inside his head was okay.
So, here I sit a little room waiting for an MRI — watching him breathe and being grateful for the beautiful human being that he is. To take my mind off my fear, I am thinking of all the things and people I am thankful for, and I write. Writing is my healing tool. It always has been.
They just came and got Lee for the MRI. I’m sitting here looking at the empty space where his bed was and thinking of the people who have come to the ER and not left. I’m thinking of my sweet little brother Griffen who was brought right here to the Greenville Hospital System Morgue. Memories are flooding my mind that I would prefer not to think about. Griffen. Lee. My nephew Brantley who came here with a head injury many years ago.
I’m thinking of the families that are left behind when death comes. I think I might vomit. NO! Think happy things, Kim. Think about the right things. Think about how you and Lee have been sitting here with you sharing about The Book Fairies dropping Griffen and All the Way to Heaven and Back all across the country today. Don’t think of the wrong things. DON’T think of anything except gratitude and have Faith and Trust.
A happy thought comes. The last thing Lee remembered the day of the fall was packing up the 111 books. I remember the two of us at my car with the books in the back, and that makes my heart smile.
I’ve been watching Instagram all day, and it’s been so comforting to see Book Fairies across the country dropping off books and posting about it. Alabama, California, Florida, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Vermont, Virginia Wyoming, and Washington DC.Lee is back, and his first question is have I heard any more from The Book Fairies. That makes me smile. I’ve updated him on the many different places and people who were dropping books. He smiled and said that it was awesome. It sure is!
The doctor came in with the MRI results. Lee didn’t show any brain bleeds. Thank God! He has Post Concussion Syndrome and will need to rest his mind for a few weeks, maybe more. At least until the headaches subside. They said another concussion, and he could have Post Concussion Syndrome forever. We surely don’t want that and feel for anyone who has it.
They gave Lee a drug cocktail to ease the pain. We are home, and he is asleep. I’m still watching The Book Fairies and thinking of how the timing of all of this has been incredible. Who knew I would be sitting in a hospital needing something to occupy my mind all day on the day that The Book Fairies celebrated Indie Authors Day?
Seeing the book in places all around the country has been such a blessing. If you have a chance and have Instagram go over and take a look. It is a dream come true for me to see the book in so many places!
I like to think that Griffen and God knew and somehow from beyond they arranged this whole thing so that I would be thinking of my brother and knowing that while I had no control over what might happen, he was still helping me from the other side in a time when I needed it most. God, I love that boy! And how about the fact that The Book Fairies would be involved? Fairies, Angels….this life is filled with some pretty cool things.
Before I end this, I want to say that you never know what a person might be going through and what effect you are having on them. Sitting in the ER, The Book Fairies kept bringing me back around to Griffen and how it’s essential to focus on the good because in a moment the person you love could be gone. Thank you to The Book Fairies across the country and around the world who work to help make the world a better place. Thank you Tiny Nugget — one of the little Book Fairies, you reminded me of my sweet Griffen who loved me All the Way to Heaven and Back.
If you are in a good place be grateful, life can change on a dime! If you are struggling, hang in there. Without a doubt, this life can be horrifying, please hold on.
I’m sending you so much love today and lots of light!
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