Tuesday, March 27, 2012
the first eighteen days
He's going to ask me about those first eighteen days. I'm not sure I'll know what to say--- a kaleidoscope of activity, his crying mixed with his sister's kisses, my face nuzzled into his, watching him change minute by minute.
And then there was the feeling of pieces tumbling down around us: Max just four days old and a phone call from mom--- dear Winston had fallen and broken his hip. I felt arrested in time, helpless and wondering about my dad. Then we started to breathe again. Winston's prognosis was good, he was sent home and happy to be there. Mom would still be making a trip out to meet tiny Max and help me recover from surgery.
But plans are wispy things, caught up in the turmoil of life's events. Max now just eight days old and another phone call from mom--- this one she directed straight to Chip, saying that she needed to speak with him directly. I knew it wouldn't be good, and it wasn't: Winston had a stroke.
I've been unsure how to address it here, what to say and how to say it. I've huddled underneath the canvas of the little tent I erected when Max was born. I've shed too many tears, salted Max's head until his hair was slick with them. I've worried and prayed and wondered over my dad. The family rushed to his side while I listened from a thousand miles away.
Their attention and focus gave him strength. Their love and prayers gave him hope.
I walked the floor with my boy at 3am, making quiet promises for a future with Winston.
And in the days that followed, he has begun the long process of recovery. When I spoke with him on the phone a few days ago, he sounded wonderful. My most feisty and wonderful Winston. That night I told Max about one of his namesakes--- how there was another Boyd so anxious to meet him, his last remaining grandfather with so much to teach him about strength and grace and courage.
I think that this is what I'll tell Max about his first eighteen days: my world was shattered and built up again. I'll tell him that when everything else is stripped away by exhaustion and worry and sadness and loss, there is a long and enduring love.