Friday, April 15, 2005

7# The Darkest Hour

That evening my two daughters and myself started out for the hospital - the journey began to seem almost biblical, for the unusually heavy January rain had continued - it felt like the sky had opened up to weep with me. Many rivers and small streams were flooding - the highway had become like the bridges to the Keys, just a ribbon of land between lapping flood waters. We had to detour several times due to road closings and after picking up my son's request for Wendy's we were running quite late - visiting hours only lasted a couple of hours so I was worried that he would be waiting impatiantly - he was near the door when we came in - following him into his room I, for the first time noticed the lack of privacy - all the rooms were open to a common room - no doors - which of course, I reminded myself made sense - they did, after all have to monitor the patient's every move - I had moderate hope that the visit would go well as my son gulped down his food and then started to describe some of the things he had done that day - but things went down hill from there - he suddenly sounded to me like the twelve year old perfect student he had once been - so eager to please - "this is my workbook I fill out in group" - he handed it around for our perusal - the situation became bizarre to me as I looked at the list of his possible diagnosis - a long list - he laughed "I have more on that list than any one else in the group" the last word caught and within a second he had collapsed on the bed - curling up in fetal position he began to sob - a sob that seemed full of all humanities' pain and despair. I have known parents who have lost a child - brothers and sisters who have lost a sibling - yet I had never heard anything that compared with those hopeless sobs. "So this is my life now" he said as he tried unsuccessfully to get himself together - I exchanged glances of complete shock and uncertainty with my daughters. Ironically although I had carried the child on the bed in my womb seventeen years before, I had no idea how to comfort him - but I tried. I sat down and tentatively put my arm around him - it did stop his sobs but not in the way I had imagined - he straightened up and went rather rigid, pulling away "it's your fault I'm here Mom - you should have let me die." What do you say to something like that? - I can't remeber my exact words - something about how I loved him so - and then I mumbled on about how everything is meant to be - he stood up and said, "well it's about time you go - I'll walk you to the door" -our visit had only lasted a half hour. We then exchanged pleasantries as if with a stranger and we walked back out into the pouring rain. To be cont.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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