“There is so much love in the world,” my husband cries softly. “So much beauty.”
“Yes,” I say, wiping his tears, “there is that.”
He sits propped with a cushion to comfort his back, and picks at the fresh fruit from the Edible Arrangements bouquet that arrived earlier today, or perhaps it was yesterday, or the day before. Deliveries of fruit, hot meals, chocolate and flowers have been pouring in the last few days; it’s hard to keep track.
He is barely able to open his left eye, which has been stitched at the lid and is swollen and bruised. His mouth and jaw are also bruised, and his nose is still inflamed from the multiple blows he took to his face. He winces as his back spasms while he elevates his leg to rest on a chair.
There is so much goodness in the world. So much love.
My son opens the refrigerator and laughs, “We haven’t had this much food in the house since I got home from college,” he says.
And he’s right. My husband and I, in our first year of being “empty nesters” would much rather walk downtown to a restaurant and be amongst people and activity, rather than stay home and cook. That’s one of the reasons we moved to the city—after raising 3 children in the suburbs, we wanted to live where we could walk everywhere.
But today, I am afraid to walk my dog around the block.
I stay home with the alarm on, and I go to bed with 911 set on my phone. Sleep through the night? Not yet.
My husband, on the other hand, in between frequent moments of crying, recounts the story over and over again to a friend or family member on the phone. He keeps talking about all the good that came out of the violence that he endured.
“We have the best friends and family in the world,” he says. “So much love.”
The doorbell rings. We all silently shiver. I look out and see it is a delivery from Whole Foods. I wave to the driver and tell him to leave the bags on the steps.
“Thank God Oliver escaped,” my husband says. “Thank God you weren’t home. I wouldn’t be able to live if they hurt you or Oliver.”
When the intruders forced their way into our home, they didn’t know my son was upstairs with headphones playing a video game. And while they were beating my husband with a chair demanding more money than what was in his wallet, my son just happened to have walked out of his room to get a snack from the kitchen. That’s when he saw the trail of blood from the front door down the stairs to my husband’s office and heard the screams of his father being tortured. He ran, barefoot, out the door as fast as he could, called 911, and me.
My ears still burn when I think of that call.
“You have to come home, Mom! There’s blood everywhere and Papi is screaming! There are people in the house!”
In the back of my mind, I kept waiting for him to say, “just kidding,” though I knew he would never play such a prank. My brain couldn’t make sense of the horror I was hearing. I dropped the phone on my desk and turned to my co-worker, “I think my husband is being murdered in my home,” I said. “I don’t know what to do.”
“Breathe,” she said. “And call 911. I’ll drive you home.”
There is so much love in the world. So much kindness.
By the time I got home, my husband had been ambulanced to the hospital, and my son was safe outside the house with the police.
They are alive. They are alive.
My friends come with sage to burn in the room where the beating and torture occurred. The corner of the room where my husband laid in a fetal position while they threw a chair at him and kept kicking his back, demanding to know where there is more money. More money. More money.
They open every drawer in his desk and filing cabinet looking for cash. They don’t take iPhones or iPads, or computers, or even the expensive classical guitar right there in the room. They don’t even take the credit cards.
These people have done this before. They know objects can be traced, but money can’t.
Dinners arrive with notes from friends in Florida, New Mexico, California. Flowers, more food, more phone calls and texts: Thinking of you; Sending healing prayers; sending love and light. My yogi friends email me a video of a vigil they held for my family the night they heard what happened.
Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya.
“Everyone keeps telling me if I need anything, to let them know,” my son says. “I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what I need.”
“You need exactly what they are giving you,” I tell him. “They are letting you know that they are there for you, and they love you.”
There is so much love in the world. So much beauty.
Friends call and email, “Can I help with anything around the house? Can I clean for you? Cook for you? Can I take you out for coffee? Walk your dog?”
Our neighbor comes over with her 17-year old daughter and her violin. “I thought you might like to hear some music,” she says. And our living room is filled with Mozart concerto #5.
There is so much love in the world. So much beauty.
My niece who literally just graduated from nursing school comes every day and tends to my husband’s wounds, tracking his medication and vital signs, and makes the bed with fresh linens. And more importantly, makes him laugh.
And I am walking around in a daze, barely awake, holding my husband’s hand, kissing his forehead, keeping a sharp eye on my son while googling trauma therapy methods. EMDR? EFT? TFCBT? Where to begin, I’m not entirely sure.
And so… I breathe, and I meditate, and I pray.
And if you know me, you know that I also listen to James Taylor.
“They say in every life, they say the rain must fall, just like pouring rain, make it rain.
Shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel.
Things are gonna get much better,
If you only will.”