My esteemed former colleague, a well-known cardiologist said that he has not met the love of his life yet. He said that the love of his life would be a woman who had birthed babies with her bare hands, held a beating human heart and walked fearlessly on the tightrope between life and death.
I have done all three, and the experiences changed me. Membership to this world means inhabiting in a separate sphere. There are very few members in this little club. Henryk often lamented that this was why he had not found his soul mate.
Many times, as our topics moved from medical to philosophical late at night or in the ungodly hours of the morning (often over cups of sweet tea), I would think to myself, gosh, this man and I fit together ideologically. We understand each other so well mentally, that in the physical realms, we often anticipate each other's moves. Once, in a coffee bar, he knocked over his plastic cup of coffee, and I caught it reflexively. I would turn, even before he called my name. He would know, what my every glance mean. Physically, he is 6'2″, lithe, and we move well together.
"Imagine what sex would be like between us," he would say in his usual sardonic, satanic way.
A physical relationship was never an option where I was concerned, but I delighted in having someone so in tune with me mentally. Yes indeed, having birthed babies with one's bare hands and held beating hearts, the world looks and feels different. As in recent example where I stopped breathing due to unexpected severe allergy reaction. In my last moments before I lost consciousness, I did not panic. I did not see my life flitting past me. I did not even say goodbye to my kids. Instead, I was willing the medics with my eyes to go through the correct protocol. With my last breath, I was telling them, "Intubate, intubate".
But recently I noticed that I have lost a bit of my humanity. I noticed that I am too ready to reduce life to a sum of body parts. I obsessively quote "quality of life" to justify my thoughts, decisions and actions. Phrases such as 'early intervention', 'active management' and 'damage control' seeped into my everyday life and decision-making.
Only a few days ago, my father said to me, "How can you speak so dispassionately about life? My God, what have you become!" The disappointment in his voice was like a whiplash to my heart. I actually felt the physical pain.
And it is about the heart that this essay is about. My dear Henryk, a heart is not merely a four-chambered organ that beats to its own innate will. It is love, hope, faith and childish innocence, and it is nurtured by people in its sphere. We all can touch a beating heart with love. We can will it to beat with the power in ours. We can.
So I am appealing to you all. Please take a moment to close your eyes. Connect with your heart. And send the unfathomable, deep powerful magic that is vested in yours to Noah's. Please help to get Noah's heart beating. I thank you, from the bottom of mine.