People wish to be settled: only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.

I awoke at 4:41 am this morning.  Tears coursing down my cheeks, feeling confused and sad. After a moment, it comes to me. My mind has gone, in sleep, where I have refused to tread for months. Back to that night in August.

It had been a long and painful day. I did all I could to care for everyone around me. Touching each and everyone of them while they held him. On their arm, elbow, shoulder. Handing out hugs and tissues as needed. After everyone had gone to bed I was unable to sleep. I sat outside on the little patio. I don’t know what I did or thought, but hours ticked by. Then suddenly it hits me.

I call Nanny and wake her up, sobbing into the phone, “I forgot to say goodbye. I was so busy taking care of everyone, I didn’t take my moment.” Not knowing what to say, she wakes my mother and puts her on the phone too. I am inconsolable. “I just need to hold him for a bit. To look under that cap at his hair. To count his fingers and toes. To kiss his cheeks. I forgot to say goodbye.” They remind me the nurse said they would keep Collin near by until morning in case the parents wanted to see him again and to call the desk to ask if I can come see him

I think it is after midnight. I speak with the nurses at the main station, I am crying and trying to explain. I sound a bit over the edge of sanity, even to myself. But he has already been taken downstairs. I will have to talk to security. I am transferred and I try again to explain my needs, my desperation. The tone of his voice makes me know I am on the other side of the sanity line. He needs to talk to the charge nurse. They will call me back.

My torrent of grief and pain and fear begins to subside while I wait. It takes so long for the hospital to call me back that I become sure they are trying to find someone with a nice ‘special’ jacket to come pick me up. I have frightened my daughter and my mother. I probably have frightened the nurses too. The charge nurse calls back. There are rules, blah, blah, can I wait till morning (no he will be too cold, I think, but I don’t say-as I am starting to get a handle on my crazy now) and they would have to wake the parents for permission. No. No. I don’t want that. I am fine. I am okay. I was just having a moment. I am over it now I tell them all.

The hours wind by. I clean. I fold laundry. I listen to music. I cry alone. I go outside around 4:40 am to take out the garbage. Six feet from the parking lot I freeze. Here in the city, in the middle of a parking lot, is a coyote. Only a few feet from me, he stops and stares. Actually we stare, our eyes locked. The coyote is young, lean and wiry. His fur reflects the bright moonlight and his eyes are deep and dark. More moments pass as I feel like I am missing something, not hearing something, and then he lowers his head and walks slowly away. “Wait. Stop.” I say it out loud, without thinking. The raw sound spooks the coyote and he starts to lope across the lot. I run after him, across  the street and through another lot. I can hear his nails ticking on the asphalt,  but I can’t see him anywhere. I stop and turn around, seeking in the dark corners. “Wait, don’t go. Where are you?” No answer, I can’t hear him anymore.

And now here I am again. A different night, a different house, a different porch, but not so different. I am back in that moment again and I realize I failed myself. I didn’t remember to take care of me. In the light of day it has seemed bearable. But the quiet and peace of the night reveals the truth.

Wait.

Don’t go.

I forgot to say goodbye.

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17 Comments

  1. Mar

    XOXO, I don’t know what else to say.

  2. ((Hugs)) I’m speechless.

  3. Wow. You’re stronger than you realize for having survived such a tragedy. You may feel crazy, but you’re not. You are brave.

  4. *HUGS HUGS HUGS*

  5. You will get your chance to hold him again, only when you do he will smile and laugh and his cheeks will be the softest of pinks. When you see him, you will be glad that this is how you’ll meet him. You just have to hold on a bit longer.

    <3<3

    Projectmommy’s last blog post..It’s been CRAZY up in here

  6. Wow. That gave me chills. I am so sad for you… You are a brave soul.

    Jaden’s last blog post..Our Great Big Crazy Chaotic Christmas

  7. Mom

    If it helps, I did count his fingers and toes. I lifted his cap and ran my hand over his head. I said goodby, told him we loved him, and that we would all be together in heaven some day. I know it’s not the same as if you had remembered to do it yourself, but perhaps you did, maybe just through me!

    Love, Mom

  8. Take care of yourself. What a poignant story. I am deeply touched and saddened again for you. I remember that post. In fact, every time I come to this blog I think of that baby.

    SandyCarlson’s last blog post..My World Tuesday: More Connecticut Snow

  9. Ohh Vixen, such a moving moment. Perhaps you are starting to heal, that is why you’re mind is visiting this once again. Know that he knows you loved him, and he understands that you had to help everyone else. He probably wanted you to be there for them.

    I’m having trouble writing a comment for my vision is blurred for reasons of the heart. My thoughts are still with you.

    Eric S.’s last blog post..Check Out My Sidebar, A Cool New Side-Blog

  10. (((HUGS)))

    anna’s last blog post..What I’ve Been Up To

  11. You were doing what mothers do-making sure everyone else was okay. He understands what you were doing and knows you miss him.

    I’m so sorry you didn’t get your in person goodbye.

    Suzanne’s last blog post..Questions and Answers

  12. Oh Vixen, I really do not know what to say, all I know, if you are by my side, I will just give you big and warm hugs. soon, in time, healing will set in.

    betchai’s last blog post..Seasons Fusion

  13. pam

    That was so very raw and painful I felt like I was intruding by reading but I couldn’t look away… …and your Mom…

    You’re in my prayers. Unfortunately pain takes years to subside… fortunately, it becomes part of who we are; not just the sorrow but the strength of it. And Collin is part of who you are.

    {{Hugs}}

  14. My heart goes out to you. To not have been able to say goodbye was the worst part for me too. Something that will stay with me forever.
    I was just incredibly moved by your post.

    Mountain Woman’s last blog post..Write With Me; The Results

  15. Oh sweetie… I’m holding you…

    Thinking of you

    hugs

    No Nonsense girl’s last blog post..7 weird facts about me

  16. I am so sorry. I can only imagine the pain your family is going through since this happened – I tear up just thinking about it. You’re in my thoughts.

    becky’s last blog post..I don’t think my family is complete

  17. I’m so sorry, Vixen 🙁

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