In the fourth grade, I could hear a buzz of people talking above me concerned that I wasn't waking. Opening my eyes, all I could see was darkness. I told them to turn on the lights. They assured me the lights were on. I cried out for my glasses hoping they would help, but they didn't. Was I blind? What happened? I panicked and cried out for my twin sister. They rushed her in and I clung to her, but I didn't think they fully understood the situation. I kept telling the voices in the room, "I can't see! I can't see!"
They spoke in hushed tones, only escalating my fear. And just when I felt I might start sobbing, Mom entered the room. I felt her cool hand on my brow and her concerned tone. "I'm here," she said. And in that moment I felt completely and utterly understood. She knew my fear, I didn't even have to speak it. She took my hand explaining the situation and told me what was going to happen next. She knew I needed to know. She understood if I had something to hold onto, I could keep the frantic thoughts at bay.
Life hands out these moments, these awful, terrifying moments where everything is chaos and nothing makes sense. Where you're left in the dark with people whispering around you feeling completely terrified and alone. And finding someone, anyone, who understands you seems like a lifeline. Feeling that kind of beauty in the middle of a storm buoys you.
I can't help but wonder how many moments like this pass daily where the person down the street, across the table or sitting right next to me is terrified and needing to know that someone understands. Am I paying attention? Am I willing to rush into the scary unknown to help them?
My sight returned as Dad carried me to the car that day. I'd suffered a concussion. After a few days of sleeping (being carefully monitored), I regained all I'd lost. But I will never forget that moment, that tender precious moment of Mom taking my hand in full understanding and putting my heart at ease.