When Nightmares Come True

It was the typical Friday afternoon… I was kicking my feet up and down underneath my computer desk, counting down the minutes until my weekend officially began.  The sunshine was streaming through the office windows, and everyone was in a stellar mood.  Why not?  It had been a short week, the weekened was here, and the weather outside was perfect. 

The phone rang, and I straightened a bit as I reached for the button to turn on my head set.

“Hello, thank you for calling, this is Nicole, how can I help you?” I stated professionally, so used to this phrase that I didn’t even think about it before I murmured the words.

An unfamiliar voice came on the line.  “Nate wants to talk to you.”

I didn’t have time to process this unusual statement before a different man came on the line. Stuttering. Sounding drunk or as though he had cotton in his mouth. I couldn’t make out what he said or who he was… until he stuttered, “let me put the captain on.”

Wait, what?  Had that been my husband on the line?

I don’t talk about my husband’s job much, for security purposes.  He works in a prison.  And yesterday, I received the phone-call I’ve always dreaded.  My husband had been assaulted by a prisoner.

The drive to the hospital was the longest 45 minutes I’ve ever experienced.  But it gave me enough time to clench my jaw and to push down the tears as far as they could be pushed.  I knew that he would need me to be strong.

In the ER, I found him sitting on a stretcher, his left eye swollen shut, his lips cut up, the entire side of his face puffy and bruised, his nose two sizes larger than normal.  When our eyes met, his good eye welled up a minute.  And I knew that I had to be strong.

So there, in the ER, I began to jump up and down Rocky fashion, my fists clenched, teasingly chanting, “Okay, point out who did this to you. Where’s the other guy?  Let me at him!”

Inside, I was shaking.  This was happening just days after the one-year anniversary of my Memere’s death.  Just a year ago, I had been in the same hospital to say goodbye to someone I loved dearly.  And here I was again, the sights and sounds the same.  I wanted to gag when he struggled to talk but couldn’t because of the cuts on his lips. I wanted to curl up on the floor and put my head between my legs.  I wanted to throw my arms around my neck, but didn’t know where to touch him without it hurting.  So I could only hold his hand…

Honestly, God’s strength alone held me up.  Didn’t let me fall.  Gave me control over emotions that would have otherwise left me unable to deal with an extremely difficult situation.  And He protected my husband from a beating that could have been much worse.

The afternoon felt like an eternity, as we spent hours waiting in the ER.  We had some important visitors stop by to make sure that he was okay.  A guy that Nate works with kept us company.  But I breathed a huge sigh of relief when we were finally walking out of the hospital and climbing into my little yellow car.   Finally, we were going home together.

Nate’s sleeping now…  He was up for most of the night, unable to sleep because his broken nose made it difficult to breathe.  His left eye is black and swollen shut.  He can’t close his jaw, so I’ve been feeding him smoothies and chocolate soy milk.

The guy is going to take days to heal, both physically and mentally.  But I know he’s strong.  And when he isn’t feeling strong?  I’ll be here with him, every step of the way.

I love you, Nate.

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18 Responses to When Nightmares Come True

  1. livvy30 says:

    Fingers crossed for you both.

  2. Lois says:

    Oh wow, that’s awful! Hope he recovers quickly, and that God continues to give you strength to be strong for him right now.

  3. I am so so so sorry. Prayers headed your way…just reading this makes me want to cry. Hang in there…

  4. Megan says:

    Prayers for you both Nicole…for healing and strength. Can’t even begin to imagine how scary the phone call and ER trip must have been for you; but that’s where He comes in and holds and blesses you in the palm of His hand, giving you strength while keeping you both safe and in His care. God will continue to provide strength when you need it sweetie! Hang in there! If you need to vent or support in any way, I’m here for you! ((HUGS))

  5. Krista says:

    *bighug* I’m so so sorry, Nicole. It’s awful when your worst fear comes true. Praying for both you and Nate. *HUG*

  6. Meg says:

    I am sorry for you and Nate! You are a strong woman to keep from breaking down and I admire that. You both will be in my thoughts and prayers. ❤

  7. Joss says:

    wow. Am sending you my prayers, hugs, and healing energy for you both. Take care of each other and let others care for you in whatever way is best.

  8. Oh my goodness, my eyes welled up just reading this. You are so strong to have been able to hold back your tears/emotions for his sake. Nicole, I am so sorry this happened. I will certainly keep the two of you in my prayers. So glad he is home safe in your care now.

  9. BrittFit says:

    hold on and be strong 🙂 my prayers go out to you

  10. Vixter2010 says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this, well done for being strong for Nate and I hope he heals soon.

  11. Jessica says:

    My thoughts are with you and Nate! Here’s to quick recovery and a safe return to work!

  12. allieksmith says:

    Oh my gosh, what a trooper. I will keep you two in my prayers *hugs*

  13. Carin says:

    someone said the other day that they didn’t understand why people who work in prisons make mor ethan other jobs. um, maybe because things like this happen? my thoughts and prayers are with you for a quick and easy recovery! xo

  14. Oh … so sory to hear this, Nicole. Praying for you and your hubby …

  15. justmarriedgirl says:

    This is just awful Nicole. I am thinking of you both and praying for you.

  16. Oh my god! I’m so so sorry to hear that this happened. It must have been really difficult for you to see your husband in that condition. I don’t even know what to say. Just know I’m thinking about you.

  17. Tien says:

    So sorry to hear that Nicole. I hope Nate get well soon.

  18. jelillie says:

    Just learning of this today Nicole. I have been away from WordPress for a few days So sorry to hear. I will be praying for Nate and you. Let me know if there is anything you need.

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