I have the utmost sympathy for the girl interrupted. The 15 year old suicide survivor they we wheeled into PICU last night, who snored away the past 12 hours sleeping off whatever drugs she pumped into her system. But today, today I could only think of one thing. This son of mine, lying there fighting infection, being pumped full of who knows what, trying to keep even more unmentionable things out of his system. Today I could think of nothing but those beautiful blue eyes staring up at me pleading for answers I just didn’t have.
I looked deep into those eyes yesterday and told him “I’d give anything for it to be me in that bed instead of you Jacob.”
“No mommy, I wouldn’t want that at all.”
He is so brave. So true. Made for so much more than this.
I screamed “YOU CAN”T HAVE HIM” to God a dozen times on the drive home last night as I keened and poured out all of the deep untold emotion I had banked up during the past three days. Exhaustion so palpable I knew that only the joy of seeing my beautiful daughter kept me from pulling the car to the side of the road to sleep in the cold.
Those blue eyes haunted me. Dr. Shuba, one of his young surgeons joked with Jake earlier in the week before surgery that he was going to give him a Harry Potter scar while under the anesthesia because he reminded him so much of the young wizard.
Yesterday when he came in to check on Jake I caught him at the door. I said, look at those eyes. Today he looks more like Frodo at the end of LOTR – when they begin to CG his eyes. That desperate haunted look the little hobbit gets as the ring weighs heavily on his soul. That was the look I saw in the eyes of my 10 year old today. His body in deep need of healing and reconstruction.
Sam: Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It'll be spring soon and the orchards will be in blossom, and the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And the whistle in the summer barley in the Lower fields. And eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?
Frodo: No, Sam. I can't recall the taste of food, nor the sound of water, nor the touch of grass. I'm naked in the dark. There's nothing--no veil between me and the wheel of fire. I can see him with my waking eyes.
Sam: Then let us be rid of it, once and for all. I can't carry the ring for you, but I can carry you! Comeon!
My Samwise Gamgee sits next to his bed even now. Faithful father, loving husband. My Samwise will carry Frodo to this next place because I just can’t step one step farther without refilling myself. I am completely empty. Drained of every drop of hope and energy. Young boys shouldn’t have to see the desperate fear in their mothers eyes that had begun to creep into mine.
I longed to grab the mother of that teenage girl and hug her. So very different were our stories, but so very similar was our pain. Our precious offspring lay in those horrible hospital beds surrounded by tubes and pinging equipment that sounded more like a casino than a quiet place of rest.
I wanted to tell her that life is precious and the past is the past – move forward with this second chance you have been given. With this do over – let it be a fresh start to celebrate life and each other. Do everything you can to live. And when things get so tough remember the big blue eyes of my son who is doing everything he can to live.