It's 3:17 am.
I'm sitting in the emergency room. As I drove here, I passed the church of my childhood and I remembered how often my dad had to go out in the middle of the night to respond to the church burglar alarm. Never once was there a burglar. Never once did dad hesitate to go check out another false alarm. I always felt like my dad would protect me. It wasn't his fault I found the world to be a big, scary place.
Each time I've come to the emergency room, it hasn't been a false alarm. My heart breaks. Just like it wasn't dad's fault, this is not my fault. And yet, I'm not sure I've done anything harder than stand by while someone makes their own choices that do not serve them well.
The doctor thinks we'll be able to leave at 4, that it will be safe by then. We will leave behind that little crying baby girl down the hall, all the lights and sounds of the E.R. and head home where we will see if "I'm really sorry" lasts.
I'm numb because of what else will come in response to this night. I'm thankful that of all things today, I drank some iced tea, which is why I'm even able to be awake in the middle of the night. I'm tremendously grateful for the emergency personnel and the doctors and nurses.
May this be a turning point.
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