Inpiration Monday – Borrowed Heart / Waiting to Live

Another Thursday, another story inspired by BeKindRewrite’s Inspiration Monday thread. This time I managed to get two of the prompts in, which is something I rarely do. It’s also quite a personal piece, because I had a condition a few years ago that made me have to fight for each painful breath. I’ve tried to capture something of that in this piece although with a different POV and a much more severe medical prognosis.

I’d love to hear what you think of it.


Catching Breath

If you’ve never watched someone you love fighting for breath, you can’t begin to imagine how it feels. You dare not drag your eyes away in case they lose the next battle, in case that rasping desperate sound is the last rasping desperate sound you ever hear. It doesn’t even occur to you that everyone else breathes quietly, or that the first time you heard that the troubled breathing you wanted never to hear it again.

But hope. That’s the thing. The greatest blessing of humanity, and sometimes its greatest curse. To go from hoping she’ll breathe normally again, to just hoping she’ll breathe again, to just… Hope without knowing what you’re hoping for.

And now I have a new hope and it’s almost too much to bear. She’s waiting to live again. Someone else’s hope died today, but sometimes hope is competitive and I can’t grieve for them when I think of the borrowed heart that will make her live. That will take her breath away and give it back a hundred times stronger. That will allow me to hope once more to hear the last of those desperate painful gasps.

You think I am selfish. That I should think of the dead and the grieving. That I should be grateful, humbled, sorry. But you’ve never watched someone you love fighting for breath; you can’t begin to imagine how it feels.


Filed under Inspiration Monday, Writing

10 responses to “Inpiration Monday – Borrowed Heart / Waiting to Live

  1. i lost my 15 year old son from viral myocarditis 6 years, he was just playing baseball-after he died, we found out he had a bicuspid valve, never detected because it never had been a problem-my cousin had the same disease, and was found to also have the same valve issue, got quick, proper medical care and lived. I developed Cushings Disease from the stress of his loss-it, also undiagnosed until I went into congestive heart failure-then my regular dr. didnt even read the cardiologists report and it was nearly 6 months later before he realized no one was helping me and sent me straight to an endocrinologist/ After months of testing, I went to a specialty hospital for a pituitary tumor removal.. I have suffered from the extreme pain of scoliosis and other issues brought on by the disease, and have recently had another bought with congestive heart failure. I DO know what it it like to struggle for every breath, and I watched my son go thru heart failure, not knowing it at that time and the emergency 911 call, I scream for was not received by a fire dept in sight of the field. He died for nothing. Life, for me has been miserable. I hope that the person you wrote about is now breathing long and strong. Reading this story was heart wrenching. Best wishes, beebeesworld

    • Wow, Beebee. Thanks for sharing your story, I can’t imagine how heart-broken you must have been. Hope your own health is now on the mend. I’m pleased to say that my own health is back to normal, and the story above is fiction.

  2. could not imagine dealing with this. Beautiful, thoughtful piece 🙂

  3. john from Scotland

    As a parent watching a young child with asthma, I too know the fear of watching someone you love struggle for breath. Just add the fear when a second of your offspring has a life threatening problem.

    A very thoughtful piece and one which might also help us all to appreciate what we have. No money can substitute for good health.

    • Thanks, John. Watching a loved one struggle is so hard, whether it’s through breathing problems or any other health difficulties. And you’re right, it’s always good to stop and remember that nothing outvalues good health.

  4. Omigosh, this piece is perfect. Do you know I was actually thinking of organ donation when I wrote both those prompts? I work for a marketing agency that does work for LifeGift, an organ procurement organization in Texas. Every year they create a calendar featuring a different recipient or donor family per month. I’m the one who reads the questionnaires from the recipients and families. I get to write their stories. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time crying at my desk! Mostly happy crying, though. It’s very inspiring. The donor families really get a sense of closure and hope knowing the person they lost helped other lives.

    I have to end this comment or I’m going to start crying again! :’-)

  5. Pingback: Inspiration Monday: the final cut « BeKindRewrite

  6. Pingback: In Mon – Myth Kit | elmowrites

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