Those words poured out from me when the air was still cold and the days were gray and hope seemed far away. The question is old news now but then it was hot off the press or at least divulged from the recesses of my mind, laid on the line for one of the two speech therapists that I trusted with my heart. "Will he ever be able to talk?", I asked, as my lungs filled with dread.
I can go back and remember the beating of my heart and the noise of my own breath between my ears, the long silence and the blue eyes filled with sadness. She paused, seeking and searching, maybe even praying as I caught the ever slight discernible shake of her head and the brief lift of her slight shoulders. "I don't know,"she said, as the sound and breath rushed back in and the floods pooled behind my eyes.
Yes, that was the first time I said aloud the fear that gripped me. It no longer is a noose about my neck but certainly a tight lasso around my chest and as the time approached for the surgery that may bring hope, I was filled with emotions that I tried to stifle before I even allowed them come to fruition. Can you see how scary it can be to let your mind wander and your heart dare to hope for the unfathomable or the other end of the spectrum, the place where hope is lost and dreams are dashed?
Three weeks now and I am learning all over again what the concept of waiting means in real time. It is magnificent in the terror it drums up and so I chase it away; I never knew such cycles of the same feelings were possible, yet here I am. Here we are. We wait and I wonder, how long? How long do we hold our breath before we release the hopes that really were childish wishes?
I've never been afraid of sharks as I float in the great Atlantic Ocean off the North Carolina coast. After I swim far out to the dark blue water, I relax and bob in the waves as I lie on my back. I kick a foot occasionally or wave an arm to propel myself closer to the children circling on kayaks or paddling surfboards. I never feel alone or even a bit of fear out there and yet, to allow my mind to wander to the months of Fall brings deep fright. Sharks? No. Words? Yes.
I'll float along until then, biding the days and allow the perimeters of my mind a brevity of safety that the waiting time allows. I shall not concede to the depths of dark when the shallows of joy beckon me day after day. Our summer has been lovely thus far and we will continue to swim each day, trounce through tidal pools, encourage Amos to venture into the ocean and spend valuable time with the little people I call my own. Those words and images shall be the light that draw me near to the embracing of joy, always there for the taking, each and every day.
Amos' words? Not yet. Not yet.