Facebook can be awesome.
It can be handy.
It can also pull the breath from you and make your blood run cold.
A few days ago I dropped the kids at school, cell phone in pocket. I felt it vibrate, so when I got in the truck, I took a peek.
I had a message from my brother on my Smartphone via Facebook that read:
Hi sis. I just wanted to let you know that I’m in the hospital right now. I had …
It wouldn’t load. The unfinished sentence made my brain thick with uncertainty and my chest contract. He lives on the other side of the country, so I raced home and jumped on the computer to log in and read his message in full, hoping my first response was an overreaction. When I saw his news, I called his cell. I texted his cell. I emailed him. I replied to his FB account. Then I Googled hospitals in his area, calling the one where I instinctively knew he would be.
I spoke to the nurse on his floor, who checked to see that he was awake. She transferred me to his room, and when he answered the phone with a laughing “How the heck did you know I was here?” I finally took a breath.
My 36yo brother went to the ER for what he thought was a pinched nerve in his shoulder, and they discovered he was in the midst of a heart attack caused by a collapsed artery in his heart.
He is fine.
He was saved.
And I was reminded that I tend to get lost in My Life. My lists, my worries, my complaints, my unfinished chores, my unending cycle of daily tasks and responsibilities. So much so, that I don’t work those threads that tie me to those I love to ensure they don’t lay forgotten and dusty on the floor across the miles between us.
He is important to me, even though we live very different lives on different coasts and don’t talk much. He’s still with me, I feel him here, and so I get lazy. Too lazy to tell him that I’m holding him here in my heart.
Why does it take the failure of my brother’s young heart to remind me that I have people out there waiting to hear that they are still being held closely in my own?