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  • Jimmy Broccoli

It Would Be Very Nice If You Woke Up Now, I Say

“It would be very nice if you woke up now”, I say

as I hold his hand within mine –

as I’ve held his hand within mine every day for weeks -

“I will not make it in this world without you”, I say

as I do not let go of his hand


Minutes later the nurse tells me visiting hours have expired –

(‘such a poor choice of words’, I think)

I hug his limp body lovingly before leaving his hospital room

I will refresh the flowers in the vase by the window again tomorrow –

as I do every day –

the flowers in the window will not die or appear dead – I won’t allow it


His beautiful energy has always been amber –

not simply just yellow – not simply just orange –

but, amber

it means he has achieved “balance and peace”; I’ve read –

and I’ve always politely envied him for this

In the middle of a minefield he remains a calm bouquet of sunflowers –

I – frequently, am a tornado disrupting all around me -

him - a softly whispered and confident word in the midst of the storm –

and – sometimes – I am the storm -

Him – with a confident and reassuring hand within my hand –

His hand within mine, often – until he could hold onto it no longer –

even seemingly unbendable sunflowers bend when there is enough wind to bend them


I listen to the heart monitor - it beeps as he lays in his hospital bed

I listen to it beeping, beeping, beeping – and I am comforted by the repetition only because I know it means he is still with me –

it means he is not dead –

because I don’t think I could handle that –

his name and the word “dead” need to remain enemies –

I will not allow anything different than that – I will not allow it



“Hallo, Melinda” I say as I approach the hospital counter in the lobby the following morning

“Hello, Jimmy, please sign here” she says with a smile –

as she hands me my visitor’s badge to pin to my shirt for the day

“Is he awake?”, I ask before leaving the counter and walking to the elevator to press the number 5 button on the panel -

“No – no – not today, Jimmy – but I’m certain he’ll be happy you are visiting”, Melinda replies kindly, genuinely, and with a loving heart

If only he could meet Melinda (and not be in a coma) –

she’s lovely and he would adore her –

he needs to wake up so he can meet her –

he needs to wake up so I can hear his voice again –



“I will not make it in this world without you”, I say to him –

“I just won’t”


I am immediately bothered by the sight of his feeding tube –

though I’ve seen it daily for weeks –

a reminder he is unable to feed himself –

“Patrick”, I say – and then my eyes fill with tears –

because there are so many words I want to say to him…


“I forgive you”, I whisper, as I move from my uncomfortable visitor’s chair –

to sit on the edge of his hospital bed next to him –

I take his hand within mine – “I forgive you – and I love you”, I whisper

as I listen to the beeping of the machine –

it beeps, and it beeps, and it beeps –

it is reminding me he is still alive –

it is reminding me he is not dead



I prefer hills and valleys over straight lines that do not bend

(as I listen to the heart monitor beeping –

as I watch the line jump up and then jump up again, comfortingly) –

I prefer them all of the time…


The beeping suddenly ceases as the steady sound sounds – it sounds – and it is a steady sound – without variation – an irritating and obnoxious sound –

I’d kill the sound if I could – I’d kill it and then stab it again and again and again afterwards – if I could – it would be dead and I’d stab it again and again and again –


I would kill it because I know what it means –


I am told to leave the room immediately – and there is not an option to disagree –

The curtain is pulled quickly and efficiently around his hospital bed as I exit the room and additional medical professionals enter –


I quickly notice the flowers in the vase by the window are vibrant –

I replaced them only hours ago –

they will not die – because I will not allow them to die –

I will replace them tomorrow –

because I will not allow them to die –

I will not allow it



I sit in the downstairs lobby -

and I sit and I sit and I sit 




30 minutes later –


I immediately notice Melinda’s smile is forced as I approach the hospital counter in the lobby –

I see she is uncomfortable and awkward –


and I know what this means



Every morning I’ve visited the florist,

requesting a mixture of purple gladiolus, goldenrod & red poppies

(I requested this combination every morning -

they were all your favorites – you loved them all and you couldn’t choose a favorite – you were like that – and I loved that about you) –


“I will not make it in this world without you, my love”, I whisper aloud

(I whisper these words to him, even though he is not with me) –

as tears involuntarily escape my eyes – and I begin to think horrible thoughts


Melinda signals the first-floor security guard because she is worried –



I am not okay

Photo: Jimmy Broccoli.

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