be·lief noun \bə-ˈlēf\
1: A state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing.
That is Websters first definition of the word BELIEF. I felt it apropos considering the state of disarray the Chiefs are currently flailing in. But why belief? Why give a team this bad any sort of credit, any penchant of time, or waste time for that matter, believing that some how things are going to change for the better? If someone asked me that, I'd shake my head and sadly force a resigned breath, then agree that times right now look bleak. And then I'd immediately follow that with this point: tomorrow's a new day.
Something we often take for granted is the day-to-day lives we lead. We follow a daily routine. We wake up, get out of bed, go to work or school (in some cases it might as well be the same thing), pray for something to happen at work so we can go home early, eat lunch, realize our prayers aren't being answered today, suffer some more, leave work, go home, eat dinner, watch tv/read/exercise (to each their own), go to bed, repeat. Mundane Monday followed by Mundane Tuesday, and so on and so forth, you get the picture.
But not every day is the same. Not every day is mundane.
April 16th, 2012 1:45 AM
I was lying awake in bed, irritated and angry (and getting angrier by the minute) because my girlfriend had gone out with the "girls" to dinner for Mexican and Margaritas. That's usually a non-issue with me. She's always let me do what I want, and I try to give her the same respect. That night though, she asked me if I could hang with the 9 year old, never a problem, and that she was going out for dinner and some drinks with the girls from work and would be back in a couple of hours.
That was at 7 PM.
Around Midnight I text her. I said "I love you, I'm going to bed, be safe" and then went to bed. She's been good at letting me know what's up, or if I text/call she's good about responding back. But that night I got nothing. And it bothered the crap out of me. So there I sat, stewing and waiting for her to call or text me back, and plotting what I was going to say once she finally did.
1:45 AM my phone rang.
"This is it! I got you now!" I thought. I grumpily answered the phone with a gruff HELL-o, trying to make it more of a statement than a question. The voice on the other end of the line said "Kalan?" (my real name is Kalan by the way, pronounced K with an Allen, masculine, I know). With my irritation reaching a 10 on the Tension Scale, I was ready to let her have it. The only problem was, the voice on the other end of the line wasn't her's.
"Kalan?" the voice said again, "Hey, this is so-and-such (a friend of ours), I just wanted to let you know that Audrey (my girlfriend) had an accident. She fell at the bar, she's breathing, but we can't get her to wake up."
WTF!? I was confused. And the anger was reaching to a boil. All I could say was "huh?"
"Yeah, she fell and we can't get her to wake up. The ambulance is on the way, do you want me to come over and stay with your daughter while you go to the Hospital?"
Ambulance? She fell at the bar and they're calling an ambulance? This is ridiculous. And I went on to let our friend know how ridiculous I thought it was. Which just made her even more of an emotional mess and I finally had to hang up the phone and shake my head thinking "is this for real?"
I woke the kid up, got her a coat, and still shaking with anger and a twinge of uncertainty, we headed off to the Hospital. Now, I'm fairly young (under 30, barely) and in fairly good health (although at the rate I'm consuming our leftover Halloween candy that might be in debate) and I'm not familiar with the Hospital she was being taken to. So I pulled into the parking lot, found a spot, parked, and walked to the door, only to find out its locked. And so was the next one. And the next one. Already a raging inferno I figured out (the hard way) that after 9-10 PM the only entrance to a Hospital is through the ER, which I needed to go to, but at that Hospital the ER is in the back, which I had to walk to. And walking around a Hospital takes a while. So I was seething with anger and out of breath by the time we got there.
I was beyond the threshold of formality and reason. As we walked into the ER Lobby a group of friends that had been with Audrey at the bar rushed over to greet us and I gave each of them the Stone-Cold-Stunner with my eyes. One woman tried to hug me and say "I'm so sorry" and I pushed her away, snapping "don't touch me."
Awkward silence prevailed and I felt encouraged to give dignified glares to any daring to look my direction. I was furious. I blamed each one of them and I wanted them to know it. They were all responsible for whatever shenanigans went down and I wasn't about to let them forget it.
A Nurse in a white lab coat (as if there were any other kind?) came in and asked for the party waiting for Audrey to follow her to a back room and wait for the Dr., who would be in shortly to discuss with us what was going on. If the awkward stillness was bad in the Lobby, it was even worse in that little room. No one could escape my penance stare, Ghost Rider would've been proud.
A separate door leading into the actual ER opened in to our room and the Dr. stepped in. He looked at our 9 year old, asked if we were okay with her hearing the information he was about to give us, to which I did my best Clint Eastwood impression and said "yeah" and he in turn gave me a weird look, shook his head, and said "okay, here's what's happening."
*For those of you with limited backgrounds in Hospital-nomics (like me), any time you are asked to wait for the Dr. in the small room in the back corner of the ER, its never a good thing.
The Dr. went on to tell us that Audrey had sustained severe trauma to the back of her head, and while the swelling was so intense they couldn't be sure of the total damage yet, their initial diagnoses was that she had fallen and landed on a part of the Brain Stem called the Pons.
*The Pons primarily deals with respiration, facial movement, eye movement, equilibrium, and swallowing.
The Dr. said that while they had stabilized her and managed to get bring her heart rate up (when the paramedics arrived on scene apparently her heart was barely beating) he told us that she wasn't out of the woods yet, and there was still a chance she might not make it through the night.
That was crushing.
In my vain attempt at being dismissive and repressively hostile, I did not take the time to get the details of what had happened, and believed that she had just fallen in the bar, maybe off a stool, or slipped on the floor or something and that whatever had happened was not that serious. Instead, I discovered she had fallen off of a patio wall 10-12 feet high, and landed on the back of her head.
The remorse I felt towards our friends that had come to the Hospital was palpable. I felt lower than low and after I called my Mom and tried to pull myself together, wipe away some of the tears and act like a man, I apologized for my behavior.
It was a shock to the system. My life was completely turned upside down. By some miraculous intervention, she only suffered a minute skull fracture that would later be determined not worthy of surgical repair. However, the thought that she could still die was one that hung in air like a thick fog that wouldn't go away. I couldn't take that thought. The idea that the love of my life might not make it through the night was a concept I refused to accept. I just couldn't do it. Wouldn't do it. I had to believe that she was going to make it because I simply could not see my life without her in it. Belief was all I had left.
Not every journey ends the way you want it to. Life, filled with the Mundan-ities, can still slip in that curveball and shake things up. You always hear about bad things happening to other people, you never once think they could actually happen to you. But even with a curveball, sometimes its life's way of pushing you towards a change, one that while painful, in the end, works out for the best.
And that's where the Chiefs come in. Right now, they are suffering in the Mundane and us with them. Each game seems like the last. Its painful and depressing. But out of the mire of anger, frustration, hopelessness, and despair, rises the opportunity for change, and the hope for a better tomorrow.
Audrey was in ICU for two and a half weeks before being released to a rehab facility, where she stayed for another two and a half weeks. Today she's back home, and just last month, six months after her accident, she was able to return to work.
While I can't say that she's 100%, I can say 100%, that she is a testament to willpower and the desire to live. Through the tumult, the trials, the pain, and the suffering, our relationship has grown stronger. We are stronger, happier, and healthier (although Halloween hasn't been kind and Turkey season is right around the corner...) and while it wasn't an easy ride to endure, it has been one that has brought us closer together as a couple, and as a family.
That I sincerely believe.
And I exercise that belief with the Chiefs as well. I've loved the Chiefs and been a fan from birth. They are my hometown team and I can't see myself ever not being a fan. Despite how bad things may get.
This season has been rough, this year even more so. And who knows, with the 2012 predictions and still a half of a season to go, it'll probably get even rougher (especially with Manning lighting the world on fire. And we still have to play them twice? Whaat?) but I'm still going to hold onto the belief that this too shall pass. Because belief is all I have left. Hang in there Chiefs fans, tomorrow's a new day.
I want to thank AP and the Community here for being an outlet for me during the tough times, and giving me a distraction when I needed it the most. I may not always see eye to eye with each of you, but as far as I'm concerned, you are all my kind of people.
We ride together, we die together, Chiefs fans for life.