After four or five days in ICU, I finally looked in a mirror and saw death staring back at me. My face was all dry and wrinkled as if I had aged by 15 years in one week. It was startling to see. I examined the shape of my creases and noted that they weren’t smile wrinkles, but showed more worry and sadness. They reminded me of my depressed, alcoholic Grandma Ingham. I tried to scrub and scrub to get all the dead flakes of skin off, hoping that would allow my skin to smooth again. I was hoping that I would still have a shot at smile wrinkles, those magnificent, friendly crow’s feet; marks of a happy life.
Twice in the prior four weeks I had left my home for the hospital emergency room thinking that I may not be coming back. I looked around my house and yard and lamented all of the unfinished projects I was leaving for Bethann. I also admired the diversity and color of the front yard that I had turned into flower beds last summer and wondered if I would get to see them come up again. The third time, which was the most serious, my mind didn’t go there. I was too distracted by the burning all over my body.