"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." Lao Tzu
Well Team Nigro it has been a year. The dreaded anniversary is here. The day my family exploded into tiny little pieces as Nick lay on the floor writhing for oxygen to enter his lungs as I pounded on his chest and wrapped my lips around his to push air into his body. The day I howled like an animal whose foot was caught in a bear claw trap which began to be severed from my body as I heard "Code Blue" called for Nick as he lay on the Cat scan table. The wail was so foreign to me that as it left my mouth my conscious mind thought "oh poor girl, something awful must of happened." Perry whose face still had Nick's blood on it wrapped his arms around me and buried his face in the top of my head not really knowing how to comfort me because he was splitting apart also. My poor sister, brother, and brother in law all watched helplessly which was a very big deal since these three magnificent souls have always been able to comfort, rescue, uplift and keep me safe in all of my years growing up. They were my safety net which now had a giant gaping hole in it and of which I had tumbled through into the darkness of what will be known as "after Nick got sick."
I don't need to rehash the details of this day you can do that by going to the beginning of my blog posts and to be quite frank I rehash the details of that day every night as I lay outside Nick's bedroom before I close my eyes to sleep. The whole scene plays back over and over and it wasn't until recently that I decided to change parts of the story and inject positive images like Nick's brain being knitted back together by the angels that surround him. Like the air I struggled to push into his chest really does expand his lungs and that his arms relax next to his side instead of draw up in spasticity. His hands in my minds eye are fully functional because each breath I take enters each joint in his hand and opens up his palms so he can use his fingers again.
Today I will mark the day with Nick by going to the two hospitals he went to that day. First we will stop in at St. Francis hospital in Evanston and we will bring the Emergency Department some treats and a note with pictures of Nick before during and now so they can visual see who they saved. I will thank them and maybe hug a few and then we will travel to Resurrection Hospital and walk through the ICU stopping outside room 2127 where I will pray the "Our Father" and then I will deliver treats to those doctors and nurses and hopefully I will see a few nurses that did 12 hour shifts next to Nick their only patient who they took care of so tenderly. Secretly, I hope I cross paths with the Neurologist who told me that Nick will most likely stay in a vegetative state so she can see with her own two eyes how wrong she was and that maybe she will second guess her next prediction for a family.
The reason why this blog post is titled The Amaryllis is because that is the lesson from this year. A few weeks ago I bought an Amaryllis bulb from Lowes. I love these bulbs along with Paper Whites because you plant them and then you place them in a dark place for a few weeks and then slowly they begin to bloom. You eventually see the tips of green begin to exit the bulb and everyday more and more appear like magic.
I see Nick like that.
Pieces of Nick begin to bloom after being in darkness and movement begins to happen and his body and brain begin to work differently and his beauty starts to shine more brightly.
The problem lies within me in this scenario. I trust God has his/her hand on the Amaryllis flower but I am not completely sure how it will turn out for Nick when I should really SURRENDER and TRUST that God and the Angels who love and serve Nick everyday have a handle on this. Why do I allow nature to slowly evolve and let the seasons evolve and change and grow and die and begin anew, but I need my beautiful son to hurry up and heal. Hurry up so I can see what I got this time around. Truth be told, Nick is magnificent and wondrous and beautiful just as he is right now in this very moment and I would be an asshole of a parent if I didn't completely own that.
I am not an asshole....I am a believer.
Nicholas Joseph Nigro has been one of my greatest teachers. The one who taught me that if you break apart mentally, spiritually and physically that you become MORE HUMAN not less. He also taught me that the essence of who you really are never leaves and the love shines through. My experience with Nick has jettison me onto a different path of how I want to serve the world. It has the essence of me, but with a different focus and drive. I am learning to navigate my relationships differently and this year Perry, Emily, Nick and I will learn to become a different version of the older model of us as a family.
As for Nick himself, I see his green shoots beginning to sprout from the bulb of his being. I will water and shine light on him and tend to his needs and I will let the holy gardener take the reins and I will BELIEVE with all my soul that the flower he grows into will shine brighter and be bolder than ever before.