The quiet house

There are times like tonight that the house is eerily quiet. Where somehow I can hear every teeny tiny noise no matter how far away it is. Like all the ambient noise is sucked from the house and all that's left are hard knocks, loud bangs, and incessant creaking.

I sat down on the sofa a few moments ago and closed my eyes. There was not a sound. Kate is already snoozing, the cats are off hiding (or in Jake's case put in the basement because he's a menace at night), no TV, no radio, nothing.

I remembered the first time I came home from Rush after Scott had his splenic artery aneurysm. The house felt exactly like it does right now. I had been gone for two days and not slept a wink during that time and the house felt foreign to me. Like the life had gone from our home.

Then I thought of the first night Scott was on oxygen. The machine had come around 7pm and we were here having dinner with some friends. The kind of dinner where pizza was ordered, people ate off paper plates and sat on the floor of Scott's room and everyone loved it because we were together.
That night after the pizza was eaten, the plates were tossed and the friends had left, Scott settled in for what would be the first of six nights of sleeping hell. Nights where he woke up panicked that he wasn't going to make it through the night. Darkness that had even me doubting he would see another day. The house smelled of fear, of death lurking in every corner.
That first night Scott called me (it was my last night sleeping in my bed until after his passing) in a panic. I frantically raced downstairs. Sitting as erect as I've ever seen him in that bed Scott, with wide eyes asked "what is that noise that sounds like Darth Vader? What is it? Why won't it stop? Is death here?"
In the days following, I retold this story. I laughed and joked about Darth Vader but I left out the line "Is death here?". I couldn't speak it. I couldn't tell everyone how after I moved the oxygen condenser, that did indeed sound like Darth Vader, I sat on the floor of Scott's room, leaned against his bed, held his hand and talked softly to him all night. I didn't tell anyone how every time I would pause to take a breath, drink a little water, or see if he was asleep enough, that he would start to panic again.
It so closely mimicked a night in the dreaded room 511 in the SICU, the first night we met SICU Nate, that it was then that I realized just how close I was to loosing Scott three years before. I sat there, whispering with my raspy voice, reflecting on those three years and felt so immensely grateful for every moment. Everything we had been through had been so worth it. I had been so very blessed.

Continuing to sit on my sofa tonight I found myself thinking of the moments right after Scott passed. The house was silent to me then too. I know Kate was there, playing in her room; taking a no nap - nap, my dad was there sitting on the sofa and I know the tv was on. I can't hear anything though. The house is totally still and silent as I walked from Scott's room and into the living room. Walking right up to my dad and falling into his arms as he stood. The only sound I can hear in my memory is my muffled sobs into my dad's shoulder.
Yet again, the life had been sucked from the house. This time though, it wasn't going to come back. Not the same way at least.

When Kate is up the house is plenty loud. And most nights, even after she's gone to sleep there is enough going on, enough to do, that I don't notice it too much. But tonight, for whatever reason, this house is silent.
I couldn't just sit on the sofa and wallow in the silence. I couldn't spend any more time reliving the moments that make my heart ache, so I came here and I wrote this. When this is done, I'll edit some photos, fold some laundry, turn on a movie, play on the internet and distract myself. It works and I've always been a fan of doing what works.

Anonymous –   – (May 29, 2011 at 8:56 PM)  

Keep doing what works...soooo true. Hope tonight is not too silent. Have a lovely day tomorrow :)

ashley probst –   – (May 30, 2011 at 10:54 PM)  

Thank you.Ive read your blogs before and a i was having a rough night tonight about my grandfather who recently passed, and a friend sent your link to me. The nights are the toughest, too much time to think. You are courageous.

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