Last night, after cuddling on the couch and watching some TV; after brushing and flossing; mid-way through the four of us lying together in our master bedroom, reading books, the dam finally burst.
That tough-as-nails exterior that Beckett wore through his fall into the depths of Guillain Barre and the strange, miraculous rise out of it, shattered to pieces.
He lay in bed, trying to fight back tears in front of his mother, his sister and I. We could watch as he finally gave in to the bizarre flood of experiences and emotion and what – what did his body and mind just experience? Whatever that is, whatever that was, he gave into it.
Heidi and I can’t even begin to appreciate what it is that we’ve just gone through. I don’t mean to belittle Beckett – because he is intelligent, and brave and strong – but I can’t even begin to comprehend how a 6-year-old mind makes sense of what just happened.
“What is it?” we asked Beckett.
He covered his eyes. Then: “Nothing.”
“You can tell us,” Heidi said.
“I want to go back to the hospital,” Beckett replied.
Needless to say. That was not the response we were expecting.
In a way, though, it makes sense. The constant attention; the gifts; mom and dad sleeping with you; the sense of security that close space and the family enveloped around you can bring.
Later that night, when Beckett and I were alone; and laying in his bed together, he later explained that he was afraid of the dark and, more precisely, afraid of sleeping alone, in his bed, where he started to get sick.
“What if it happens again?” he asked.
“It won’t,” I assured him.
“I want to sleep with you and Mom,” he said.
“You can’t,” Beckett. “But we’ll be right outside the door, in our room, if you need us,” I said.
“But what if you’re asleep?” he asked.
I laid with him until he fell asleep. His body started the gentle tremors that begin with the first stage of sleep before 8 p.m.; by 8:15 p.m., he was out cold.
He didn’t wake up until 7 this morning.
For what it’s worth, I slept until 5:30 a.m. – then got up for work. It was, hands down, the best night of sleep I’ve had in 18 days.
Beckett had his first day of school today. He got an 11 out of 10 on his spelling test (the 10 main words right, plus a bonus word). He had to rest some; from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., he rested in the nurses office, but all-in-all, it sounds like today was a good first day back, albeit a half-day.
He starts his outpatient occupational therapy tomorrow back at Cardon Children’s Medical Center.
Heidi tells me he was tired when he got home from school; though upbeat.
When I got home from work at 5:30 p.m., it was like a normal day. Beck and Brody bust out the door screaming “Daddy!” at the top of their lungs.
Honestly, it looked like it did 3 weeks ago, like nothing had changed.
And today, it felt like that a little, too.
I continue to be amazed by the outpouring of support. And while I’m not fully prepared to delve into it yet, I’m a convert when it comes to belief in the power of prayer.
I’ve had, we’ve had, an exceptional number of people – friends, family and, perhaps, most importantly, medical professionals – tell us what has happened to Beckett, the speed of his recovery, is truly a miracle. I’ve had very analytical people whom I’ve never heard use the word “miracle” before, use that word.
I’ve had numerous people tell us they couldn’t do what we did; or imagine what we’ve gone through. And yet, the whole time we were doing it, in some ways, it felt easy(ish). It was like there was a wall of love, or support, always lifting us up, always giving us strength, always helping us find whatever it was that we needed to stay calm.
I used to get nervous about a misplaced comma in a story I edited; and sometimes lose sleep over it. Yet, except that one night, about mid-way through this whole thing when Heidi and I “discussed” for 10 minutes, our family unit, our bond was strong and thoughtful and calm.
I really believe that the love and prayers that each and every one of you sent played a big part in that.
– Ed, Heidi, Beckett and Brody