Tyler had to have emergency brain surgery. Everything happened so suddenly that the only thing I remember clearly was being in the recovery room.

I remember holding Sarah’s hand, and looking down on a son that didn’t recognize us. The uncertainty of us ever leading a "normal" life again tightened in my chest and made my heart ache. When Tyler tried looking around the room, his head didn’t turn, but rolled instead. Looking to his right, we could see where the doctor cut his freshly shaven scalp. The doctor cut a flap the size of a quarter that was now held shut with a number of staples. The area showed the beginnings of bruising. Currently, it had a yellow/green tint to it that would blossom to purple in another day or two.

Tyler rolled to the side. Whether he did this to stand up or just to roll over, we’re not sure because the side panel of the pediatric stretcher was lowered, and Tyler rolled off the stretcher and to the hard, faux wood floor.

He didn’t even cry when he made his sudden, and forceful, contact with the maple-colored laminate. I rushed around the stretcher to pick Tyler up, while Sarah screamed for help.

I thought, "Please God, don’t let it be his head that hit the floor. Please God. Please, please, please please please."

All my wild thoughts were realized when I looked at the site of his surgery. Blood flowed freely from the area where the staples had failed to do their sole duty. I cried out in shock and horror, holding Tyler’s limp body and refusing to believe the worst of all parental fears.

I could faintly hear the monitoring system calling for assistance to our room. I screamed until my throat felt like it would rip itself open. Tightly holding Tyler against me, with people and machines rushing into the room, I heard a baby’s cry.

I woke with a start to the sound of my alarm clock and Tyler crying in his room. The severity off all my emotions faded immediately, but their presence persisted. I turned my alarm off, walked into Tyler’s room and to the baby who had awakened without his pacifier. Under any other circumstances, I would give him a paci, lay him down, and tell him to finish his nigh nighs. After an "I love you" and a kiss on the forehead, I would leave and shut the door behind me.

But this was not "any other circumstances." I pulled Tyler out of his crib and hugged him as tightly as I felt I safely could.

"Thanks for saving me from that one, bud. I love you to the moon and back… Now, hows about you finish your nigh nighs?"

Vivid dreams like that scare the crap outta me, because they stick with you all day. They are like the tiny paper cut on your finger; it hurts just enough to make you remember it’s there. If you keep your mind busy with tasks, you forget about it. But, as soon as your mind has time to wander, you feel the dull throb of a tiny heartbeat in your finger again.

When I was younger, my two worst (recurring) dreams involved me being chased by Frankenstein’s monster (which I will incorrectly refer to simply as Frankenstein here). In one, I was running through my elementary school, down never ending corridors, while a hundred foot tall Frankenstein destroyed the hallways behind me with his footsteps. Running, running, running, I could never get out of the school or away from the giant Frankenstein. In the other, I was running from a more humanly sized Frankenstein in my backyard. In this version, I couldn’t scream, I could only run in circles around the fenced in yard, and I could only run as if my legs weighed a thousand pounds. Each.

The dream I had last night was scarier than both of those combined tenfold, and I pray I never have that dream again. I’ll take on a giant Frankenstein any every day of the week for the rest of my life before I’d hold the lifeless body of my own son… even if it was only a dream.

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10 Thoughts on “It happened last night

  1. I hate dreams that are vivid like that too esp when they invole Nathaniel it freaks me out and i cant sleep for days

  2. Bethany on June 16, 2009 at 7:24 am said:

    Wow… that’s terribly morbid. I think I might have a nightmare tonight just for having read that. When I have nightmares, they’re typically really abstract / unrealistic. Yuck…

  3. Man, you were freaking me out with that story. I couldn’t believe what I was reading.
    Glad it was a dream and not reality!
    It is in reading this that I am thankful I rarely–if ever–remember my own dreams.

    Last night I was driving on North Street and admiring your new fence, when I noticed the top half your head above the fence. I don’t know if you heard my ‘Joe’ shout-out or not.

    I was looking forward to watching your garden grow, but your erected fence has blocked my view! But I can understand–a couple years ago I talked about erecting a similar privacy fence to block out the view of the junkyard in my neighbor’s yard.
    .-= Nathan´s last blog ..Dominican Republic: Friday =-.

  4. Jesus Christ, Joe! What the hell are you trying to do to your readers? I’m sending someone over there to kick your ass.

    I am glad that it was a dream, but man you got to start these things with a disclaimer.
    .-= A Free Man´s last blog ..Shock shock horror horror shock shock horror =-.

  5. Dave (Llama) on June 16, 2009 at 8:59 am said:

    I’ve been having some of those super vivid dreams lately as well. They totally suck. I seriously had a dream where I was living through some zombie movie, but it was SO REAL. I awake expecting to find a zombie cat trying to eat me.

  6. I was horrified at the start of this entry until you turned that one around. Nothing is scarier than terrible things happening to young children.

    Vivid dreams, especially ones where you dream in color and can taste and sense the environment around you are a blessing and a curse, depending on the course the dream takes.

    At least you were able to take what was truly terrifying and turn it into a great narrative to scare the rest of us :)
    .-= Brenton (Vandil)´s last blog ..When I was a boy, I wanted to be an astronaut… =-.

  7. Marie on June 16, 2009 at 9:56 am said:

    I ma a very vivid dreamer…I knew in your first sentence thats what it was. They can be incredibly vivid, crazy, can’t they? Ryan once had a dream that “they” thought the world was ending so he had to decide to give the kids a large dose of sleeping pills and put them “to sleep” or let them potentially die by fire. I just had one where my cruise control went OUt of control and Maddie and I hit a gas tanker. Everything was fuzzy, like static, and I thought, “well, I saw what happened, I must be dead”. But the worst part was that I was trying to tell Maddie I loved her and I couldn’t, I could only think it, and I was devastated. That was last week and my heart still hurts about that one. Hope you get it out of your mind and hold that baby tight!

  8. NEVER SCARE ME LIKE THAT AGAIN.

  9. My heart was racing when I started reading this! Inducing panic is a crime you know; especially when it involves babies. =) I’ve been stalking your blog for awhile and really enjoy it. I’m glad everything is ok with Tyler. I’m throwing away the rest of my morning coffee. This post got my adreniline going more than any caffeine in a cup.

  10. I’m with Ace. Never again, dude.
    .-= NATUI´s last blog ..Those Glorious Paper Robes =-.

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