Help Me Make it Through the Night Part 1 is here.
Six days after the officer came to door to tell her that her husband was MIA, Cindy had gotten very little sleep. The mirror was not her friend this morning either. Her eyes were red and puffy and black half circles had become swollen underneath them. She splashed cold water over her face and brushed her teeth quickly. Her appearance was the last thing she cared about.
She poured her coffee and turned on the television to listen to the news. The news was all about the upcoming presidential election. Who did this and who did that and who didn’t do this and who didn’t do that and all the bickering going on along with it. One little news items came on about Iraq but it wasn’t anywhere near where Ronnie was suppose to be.
After everything that had been on the news in the past week or two, Cindy had to really work at keeping her hopes up. She began to wonder how much more she could take before crossing the line, “the point of no return.” Nope! She decided she wouldn’t go there.
She decided to throw on her running clothes and shoes and run for a couple of miles. She could take a shower when she got back. She threw on her running shorts and a tank top and shoes. After she finished dressing, she grabs her house key and locked the door behind her. She starts running down the less busy street, Saddleback. It had a low grade hill that would add to her running workout.
After running a mile Cindy decided to quit. She hadn’t slept well for almost a week and didn’t have the energy to run any further. She didn’t have the desire any longer either. All she could think about was Ronnie.
Just as she jumped out of the shower the phone started ringing. She grabbed the towel and wrapped up her hair and threw on her robe and ran to the phone on her bedroom night stand.
“Yes, this is she.” Her heart was beating out of her chest she was so afraid this would be bad news about Ronnie.
“Mrs. Sanderson, this is Officer McDonald. I came to see you about a week ago and told you that your husband was missing in action.”
She could barely speak because of the lump that settled in her throat,
“Yes, I remember Officer McDonald. Please don’t be telling me bad news about Ronnie.”
“Mrs. Sanderson, I am not calling with bad news, I am calling with good news. Your husband was found and taken to a hospital in Germany. He is in Germany as we speak. He has been seriously injured but he is alive and there is a 80% chance that he will live.”
“Oh my God, thank you! Thank you so much for calling me!”
“Mrs. Sanderson, we are flying him to a hospital in Houston in seven days. He will likely remain in the hospital for at least two more weeks. As I stated before, he was seriously injured. The doctors were not able to save one of his legs.”
Cindy was so excited to hear that Ronnie was alive that it didn’t register what the officer just told her. Her heart was beating so fast she could hardly contain her joy.
“Why will he need to be in the hospital in Houston for 2 more weeks?”
“Ronnie was seriously injured Mrs. Sanderson. He has lost one of his legs.”
Cindy sat on the floor from the shock.
“Oh my God.”
“But the main thing is that he is alive and will be flown to Houston in seven days. I will call you in a few days and give you the arrangements for your accommodations in Houston.”
“Thank you, thank you so much Officer McDonald. Thank you!”
With the conversation over all Cindy could think about was that Ronnie was alive and was coming home. She could no longer contain her tears. All she could think about was her husband Ronnie.
She had much to do to prepare to go to Houston. First, she needed to make some calls and tell Ronnie’s parents their son was coming home. After she hung up the phone with his mother, she felt lighter than she has felt in a long long time. Lighter and happier. Cindy started humming some of the lyrics to her’s and Ronnie’s song,
Come and lay down by my side
Till the early morning light
All I’m taking is your time
Help me make it through the night
Yesterday is dead and gone
And tomorrow’s out of sight
And it’s sad to be alone
Help me make it through the night