I spotted the building from a block away, when I turned into the parking lot my heart skipped a beat. This is the Hospital where Elliott died. This is the place where he took his last breath. He went in alive, just barely alive and never made it back out again. Now I was back. I wasn’t ready to come back yet. I have been avoiding this for two months and probably would have kept avoiding it for years. Nevertheless, the fire chief needed the records so I had to go in. As I drove around to the main entrance I passed the the sign that said EMERGENCY, my heart skipped another beat. Thats where I once entered terrified but hopeful my husband would walk out. HE DIDN’T!
This time I would enter through the main entrance and find the elevator down to the basement level. When I got off the elevator It was obvious I was in the underbelly of the hospital. The place that most people don’t see. I found my way to a little room where all the records were kept and told them who I was and what I needed. Then the tears began to fall. Through my tears I apologized “ I’m sorry, my husband was killed and I need his records but I am not ready to pick them up yet .” It was too real and too final. I composed myself and the gentlemen asked me to come back in an hour and they would all be ready.
When I came back they handed me the envelope. It was so heavy. How was there so much paper for just a few hours of his life? If they worked so hard and did so much why couldn’t they save my beautiful husband?
I wanted to know what was inside the envelope but I wasn’t ready to look. On the way out I thumbed through the file and my eyes focused on all kinds of random horrible medical terms. How can they be referring to my Elliott ? He was so strong and healthy. I just don’t understand. I stopped looking and gripped the records tight to my chest as I walked to the car.
I became numb again as I drove downtown to the fire department headquarters.
I had to drop off a copy ASAP so that the chief could try and get some time sensitive paperwork done for me. I ran upstairs and left it with his secretary. Headquarters is attached to station # 1. Elliott worked closely with a lot of guys at station 1 because their area overlaps. I thought “ I should visit them, since I’m already here.”
I ran upstairs and all the guys were sitting around the kitchen. I saw familiar faces and the numbness went away. When a close firefighter friend embraced me I lost it. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. The tears flowed again. It’s a B shift day, Elliott’s shift. “He should be working” I cried. “I shouldn’t be here visiting, I should be visiting my husband at station 3.”
I love visiting the guys that El worked with but sometimes it just stings so bad. To see them all at work in their uniforms, hanging around the kitchen and waiting for a call ... It just breaks my heart . Elliott loved being a firefighter, he was passionate about his job, about helping people. He doesn't get to do it anymore. He doesn’t get to do anything anymore, all because someone took it away from him, away from us ... ( I wish I could explain more about that ... )
El, I love you more than life babe, you are my entire world and I am so lost without you.