About seven years ago this summer, my architect husband, Mickey, and I went to my friend Natalia’s son’s first birthday party. Needless to say, as cute as those little kids are, they are walking petri dishes and we both caught a terrible flu. After three weeks, I improved but Mickey kept getting worse and worse.
I came home one day and he was laying on the sofa, gray as an extra-terrestrial and short of breath. Like most Serbs, Mickey would rather die than go to the doctor but even he could see that it was time for the emergency room.
As they admitted him, the nurse, a kind black lady, asked, ‘This be his natural color?’
‘Um, no, he’s usually greenish,’ I replied.
Well reader, doctors must be getting more demented by the day because without the aid of technology, they don’t seem to be able to bring about an accurate diagnosis and began treating Mickey for pneumonia. Even with my limited medical knowledge I could see that they were way off. Mickey too, kept saying, ‘I think I have what my cat had – heart failure.’ He almost died before anyone read his CT scan, and then they set into action, since the diagnosis was changed to a leaking mitral valve. Needless to say, they had been killing him with hydration up until then. Surgery was immediately scheduled and everything went well, or so I thought, until I met with the surgeon, who proclaimed his work, repairing the natural valve, a masterpiece, only adding as an aside that Mickey had died on the table but that they manged to bring him back after ten minutes.
Wonderful, I thought, I spent a decade watching my first husband’s mental and emotional health decline, now I’m going to be married to someone with brain damage.
Well to make a long story short, Mickey, though plenty weird, was undamaged and manged to fully recover. About a year afterward he told me an amazing story. He said as he was being wheeled downstairs to the operating room he had a vision of himself as a knight lying outdoors in a field. A group of bearded men, wearing tunics over their chain mail gathered around him in a semi-circle while their leader held his sword to Mickey’s heart.
I didn’t know if this was a past life flashback to where Mickster was about to be dispatched by the enemy or not. So I put a positive spin on it and told him those were his guardians, helping to heal him. Afterward, when I was gossiping about this with my sister, Mickey overheard and commented, ‘I think I imagined all of it.’
‘Don’t be absurd,’ my sister said, ‘if you had imagined it, you would have seen Frank Lloyd Wright and the apprentices, twirling their protractors on a compass.’