4:00 a.m. In hospital.


Long, long ago, your mother sat by your hospital bed, not knowing if you would live or die. Acute bronchitis, emergency tracheotomy, impossibly high fever… I can almost envision your little four-year-old self inside the oxygen tent, packed in ice to get your temperature down, and your mother in the chair, wiping her tears as she wrote you a note. Her beautiful penmanship remains vivid on the inside cover of the Bible story book she bought for you:

4:00 a.m. In hospital.

Dearest . . .

When you are well and safe at home again, I’ll read you this little note I’ve written to you during the hours I sat by your bed and watched you sleep so soundly . . . Mommy and Daddy have been so scared . . . We love you so much, our little son . . . Little angels have been all around your bed since you have been sick and Jesus sent them to watch over you and keep you . . . soon all the suffering and fright you have had will pass from your little mind but Mommy will always remember and thank God for giving you back to me.

Your Mother


Five decades later, Dearest, I sit by your hospital bed, typing this note in my phone. When you are well and safe at home again I will tell you how the EMS responders were angels sent to save you, how the doctors repaired your heart, how the nurses watched over you and kept you safe, how – for the second time in your life – your body was chilled in an effort to save your brain. The boys and I have been here with you the whole time. At last you woke and knew us … we will always remember what the doctors said, that everything, everything aligned for you.

At 4:00 a.m. in the hospital – today and every hour of every day hereafter – we thank God for giving you back to us.

❤️ Your Wife

Update 8/6: After a week in the hospital, five days of which were in cardiac ICU, he is home. Weak, sore, struggling with memory, and amazed by his own story. We tell it to him over and over again.

Medical professionals continue to describe the actions of EMS responders – who administered CPR for twenty minutes with defibrillators – as “heroic.”

22 thoughts on “4:00 a.m. In hospital.

  1. Oh, Fran! Oh my goodness! I am crying and it’s only 6am. I am so glad that he is ok, so glad that everything aligned, so glad that he has angels on his side and that God gave him back again. May you find some peace in the coming days. And, oh my, how beautifully you have written about this pain. My thoughts will be with you all. – Amanda

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Fran. I had no idea. I am so grateful to hear your husband is recovering and angels led the way. Love the notes from his mother and you. Prayers and hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sending ❤️ Our husbands hold such a particularly tender place in our hearts. We’ve been through so much together, intimacies of parenting, of beginning our lives together, of all the changes that life brings. Blessings to you today and all the tomorrows.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fran, thank you for sharing this deeply personal reflection. I love how you connect these to terrible periods of your husband’s life. I am glad to hear he is home and wish him continued recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Fran, I just open your blog for inspiration and saw this piece. I am so sorry. I hope your husband is recovering well. By reading you, I can see how healing can be to write, and to be read. My best wishes for you all. Lots of peace, love and patience in this crucial time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fran, in the midst of medical upheavals, the sweet angels have surrounded your husband twice in his lifetime. May you and your family continue in strength to live a full and blessed life. Thoughts and prayers are being lifted.

    God bless the heroes of the medical profession who strength, endurance, and expertise bring life to those in need.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was wondering where you were last week, thinking it was back to school busy, an emergency not even crossing my mind! How you came to juxtapose these two events shows the importance of family writing, holding on to those words to bring strength through memory. I am relieved your husband is on the mend, and pray that he continues to heal.

    Liked by 1 person

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