I'm sitting here listening to one of my favorite sounds. Each one of his gentle inhales has purpose. They come with intention and are long, as though taking in all that is there around him. It's dark, but I can see his chest rising meticulously, on time, to aid his lungs in every intake. His exhales, though short, are filled with relief. I can picture him with his eyes closed, his head tilted slightly to the left, leaning on his shoulder just a bit, his lips pursed in a quiet smile. I close my eyes, listen to every breath, and without realizing it, match my breath to his. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. I wish I could capture this moment, this breath, this rising and falling of his chest forever. I have stayed up all night many nights hearing a different breath from him. A labored, heavy breath struggling to find itself between wheezes and worries. I wish those nights never come back. I have fallen asleep with my head against that chest - rising to its fullest capacity and breathing me in with every exhale. I can't wait for another one of those nights. Lungs don't always work the way we hope. When they do, I can't help but rejoice. I can't help but listen with joy to every full breath that he is taking tonight.
I hope you never have to feel a shortness of hope, courage, or breath. Ever.