Saturday, November 28, 2015


Many years ago, on the day after Thanksgiving, my wife and I took our son Joseph, to the doctor because we suspected seizure activity, and that was what it turned out to be. We immediately put him into the hospital and waited for the next shoe to drop.

I visited him the next day and he, being only 20 months stood in his crib, ready to play then started to seizure once again; up and down he went, almost playfully. Needless to say it cemented me in one spot, where I was unable to articulate or move: the shock was complete. An indelible picture of him sitting in the crib has never left me, the hard days back and forth to the hospital, the IV and the constant needles that poked him for a new location for that IV, all engraved like a stone etching, clearly in my mind.

We had guests who were kind enough to visit us at the hospital, and witness what were happening to us, my wife and I. She too was a scared, silent witness to the destruction of peace and mind to the little child’s parents. The guests; they were able in spite of their concern, let go of us and detach themselves to recover in the safety of their own world. We were now freaks to be pitied and to be avoided until a resolution occurred. They could hide from what we couldn’t

He went on to live just a few short months, as my wife and I struggled through the cold of the winter and the cold of my son’s slow death. Our parents were supportive but detached themselves by doing what they could to help us, but manage to stay away from the harsh reality, leaving it to us to face.

Every year at this time, we put on our seasonal faces and pretend how wonderful things are with the holidays, but really, what is the holiday to us but the reminder of the coldness, the sorrow and despair that has hit us often at this time of the year. What once was my favorite time of the year is but one of many days that clustered to remind me of my child: his death and the feeling of being outside my world, looking in and feeling the cold.

I find that the nostalgic side of me shelters those feelings until I come back again to the present. It has taught me that nothing in this world is so damned serious that we need to face life solemnly without recalling the good things in life. I wonder of my attitude was different if I would have cut my throat. Now I try to laugh and enjoy whatever is good, a good memory, joke or meal, a long lasting friendship, the love in my life, and the greatest lift both my wife and I have had, my granddaughter.

Life is good. Bad things happen, but we must all feel pain somewhere and somehow, we only hope it is minimal, that the scars leave nothing but reminders of what was, not what is. So I look for tomorrow and hope to enjoy that little granddaughter, she is something for me to look forward to, to live for and to celebrate.

Lucky me.


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