(Notice: What you are about to read is a very intense dream sequence that involves the loss of a child. While this happened the other night, in sharing a very fearful moment, I neglected to take into consideration the relationships I have developed with many of my readers and how this might affect them. For that I am sorry. Continue reading with the knowledge it is a dream.)
My youngest son's name is Cole. He is five. He died tonight.
The sky is grey, all the twinkling star muting the black, lightening it. I wish I had a star to hold, to press deep in my chest. Maybe it would shatter this weight that beats slightly within me. Boards creek under my bare feet as i rock slowly back and forth, hot tears warming my cheeks. Ten thousand stars are visible, why did mine have to fall?
We went to one of those get togethers, the boys would call them 'fancy', where you dress up in clothes reserved for just such an occasion, tight and binding in their formality. I can't even really remember what is was for...but it was downtown, because i remember the soft glow of the streetlights on the asphalt after a spring rain. Droplets still clung to the edge of our windows.
Entering the lobby, there were people ready to usher our kids to another part of the building where their special needs would be met with fun and games all lowing the adults their own space. Cole tugged at my hand just as I was about to release him and I knelt, face to face with him. He hugged me and gave a quick kiss on the cheek.
We joined several couples in the elevator and banter began, spilling out the door into the waiting group. All of this seems unimportant now. Time passed quickly, as we were handed around the room, talking face to talking face until looking at my watch it was time to pick up the boys and head home. Frankly, it was a relief to leave.
Where is my son?!, the volume of my voice tries to overpower the pounding of my heart. These are words you never want to say. Tara is shaking, mascara starting to crawl down her face. Panic is my guide, puling me room to room, peering into every shadow. My throat squeaks out his name again and again. My movements seem slow and clumsy as time races passed me.
The clank of the door into the pool area echoes, and the hollow hole where the pool cover is pulled down, bunched together, captures my glance instantly and I am in the pool. The cover tangles in my arms, resistant to efforts to free him. I can feel him, unmoving, I just can't get to him. Water thrashes around me, as I yell, and yell, exasperation choking me.
He is in my arms, curled in the fetal position and I am on the side of the pool. His skin is pasty, all color robbed, leaving shallow greys and yellows in once pink cheeks. My heart shrivels like a prune, pushing anguish out my throat in howls. I want to destroy, to tear down, to release this burning rage inside me. To make it someones fault. I want my son back.
Hands try to take him from me, but I won't let them, swinging and gnashing. He weighs so little now, but it pins me to that spot. My wife is there but I can't look at her. I can't let him go...I won't let him go. I can't stop screaming...
...even as I wake, pillow damp, sheets torn aside. Running fingers across my clammy skin, I rise, walking through the darkness to stand in my son's door way. His chest rises and falls gently, counting off minutes, until my heart finds its rhythm.
Letting myself out the back door quietly, I stand under ten thousand stars and ask the universe to keep mine shining for a little while longer and take back this dream it has given me. I have taken what I need from it, and today is a new day.
This is a Theme Thursday post. And my all too real dream from last night.