Last night, as I sat in the darkness on the stiff couch of the hospital room, my focus was drawn to the bed where he lay. He had drifted off into a drugged fog. I sat with the energy of the last few days passing before me as my heart and mind settled into this place of surreal images and sudden quiet.
The mechanical bed became a ship on the night horizon. Running lights glowed as his slumbering form morphed into a breathing superstructure that guided the bed through troubled and painful waters. His destination is a far away shore that for now we can only yearn for.
That though, is another day. For now we seek rest from the trials of the present. We stand before the steady headwind leaning into our faith in the knowledge that God is with us. He captains this vessel that carries my son into a deep and darkened sea.
As I wept, I observed the silhouettes of the space about me. They will be forever in my mind’s eye as a place of passage carrying us forth into hope. Yes … there is mostly hope that we will emerge from these ghostly shadows into a light of balmy day where my son will walk in glorious grace to a future of light and joy.
So as that ship of pain passed slowly before me, through waters of foreboding and fear, I sat breathing oh so carefully so that the devils of despair not hear us passing by.
And now we have emerged into morning. Shadows are illuminated. The IV pump drones endlessly as it did in the deafening dark like a dreadful buoy signaling disastrous shoals. Now it is a heartbeat.
Living in this unfair place where children suffer is like unto “purgatory”. It is an in-between place that would rob us of our humanity. Yet I find in the eyes and posture of their loved ones a dreary hope that one day this will all pass away. One day that small figure resting in a fog upon their ship of pain will arise to play and groan no more.
Last night I watched his ship in the fog pass that tolling buoy of pain. This morning he smiled as we entered, for a little while, safer harbor.