Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
As Jim lay on the hospital bed, hooked up to more machines than anyone had a right to expect, he was helpless to move or to speak. His brain was awake and alert, but he wasn’t even able to open his eyes. There were tubes that covered all his bodily needs as he lay there trapped in his own mind, in his own body.
He did have some feeling, and he heard everything that was going on around him. When his wife took his hand, he knew it was her hand. Nothing else felt the same. He knew his sons’ hands, and his daughter’s. And now and then a smaller, softer hand would pat his own, and he knew it was a grandchild. He especially loved it when those smaller hands touched his cheek or smoothed his hair. That could make the tears flow, and when he had tears everyone knew and understood that he was still there with them.
He had no idea how long he’d been there. He slept a lot, and knew he was on drugs that made him sleep so much. He was thankful, because those same drugs took away the pain.
One day, his wife came in with an old tape cassette player. He was the only one who had used it in recent years. Everyone else had graduated to iPods, leaving him the only one who still enjoyed his CD collection as well as his tapes.
“I brought your tapes, Honey. I know you miss your music. I’m going to plug the machine in–the doctor said it was okay, and told me where to put it. I brought your head phones so you won’t disturb anyone else. One of us will be here almost all the time, and we can change tapes for you. I brought a variety of things I know you love. I wish you could blink or smile or something, to let me know you hear me, but I think you do hear me. I think you’re awake somewhere in there. I love you, Jim. Please come back to me.”
She fitted the headphones, checked the volume, and started the tape. Jim’s head filled with the glorious sounds of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, and Jim’s whole body seemed to relax as the music soothed his mind and his heart.
He smiled. He didn’t even think about it. Just smiled, and his wife’s eyes filled with tears.
“I don’t know why we didn’t think of this sooner,” she said.