There are lots of situations when your bottom drops out. No one can tell you when, how, or why these situations will occur; they just happen. Often times when you least expect it. Nothing spectacular happens, and you don't even realized it happened until it's already over. A good example is when you find out someone you are really close to just passed away. Now you know what feeling I'm talking about. It's like your abdomen is a trap door, someone just released the lever, and the entire contents spill to the floor.
This usually happens when we receive bad news of some kind. Someone you really love decides to call it quits, someone dies, you lose a job you thought was secure, you find out you're sick and there's nothing that can be done about it, etc. Always when there's bad news of some kind that is out of your control to remedy. Sometimes this toxic emotion can be spurred by a few simple words from the most unexpected of places.
This happened recently to my wife, and then later myself. The culprit? Our son. If you've been following along, or know me personally, you know the story of my child, as it's been told so far. He's going to need a major surgery to replace a major organ. It's not his fault, and he's having a hard time grasping the situation as it is. I'm sure as he gets older, he'll wrap his mind around it, and it'll be an easier pill to swallow. But for right now, as it is, he just knows that he gets sick and has to go see the doctors a lot.
After coming home from a long day of work tonight, I walked in expecting everyone to be asleep in their beds. I was quick to learn that was not the case. As soon as I stepped foot in the door, there was my littlest one. Usually this brings a smile to my face as he usually announces my arrival by screaming “Daddy!” and running up to me for his evening hug and to tell me all about his day.
Not tonight. Tonight he had a somber look on his face and I could tell that something was troubling him. I asked him was what wrong and he told me that he was unable able to sleep.
“Why” I asked, “What's the matter?”
“When are the doctors going to cut me open” he asked me in return.
A little taken aback, I replied “Not tonight.” I'm used to these anonymous questions, but this evening I was not really prepared.
“Are you sure?” he asked again. A tint of urgency creeping into his tone.
“I'm pretty sure” I said.
“Every time I close my eyes, they try to cut me open”
I bent down to my knee and got eye level with him. “No one is going to touch you without you letting them”
“Are you sure?” he asked me one more time.
“I promise you”
He hugged me around the neck and said “Thank you, daddy” and ran off back to bed.
I haven't seen him for a few hours, so I guess that worked.
I dressed down from my work uniform and grabbed a bite to eat. After I was done, I headed outside for a smoke. My wife joined me shortly thereafter. She too is having trouble sleeping this evening. I asked her what was going on with her, and she went on to confide the days events and why she was so bothered.
She told me that earlier in the day, Rogue stopped doing his homework and asked her why he couldn't go to back to school. We've decided to home school him this year if you didn't catch that. My wife explained to him that he was going to stay home this year in case he gets sick. Last year he missed about 2 months of school because of illness. They decided to fail him. So this year, we're just home schooling him to make everyone's lives easier.
He tried to convince her that he was better and was ready to go back. My wife kept trying to change the subject, but being my son, he wasn't letting that happen. So she tried the next rational choice, she tried explaining to him about why he was being home schooled and why he was staying home. We've already been through this talk with him and with doctors a hundred times, but sometimes it just doesn't stick and you have to explain it to him again later on..... later on was today.... again.
She explained to him about his “broken” liver, and how the doctors are going to have to replace it, and how it will make him feel better.
“What if it doesn't make me feel better” he asked.
“What if it doesn't make me feel better” he asked.
“The doctors have told us that it will” she responded.
“But what if it doesn't” he asked again, “Will I be able to see you in heaven.” Thats the moment someone grabbed the lever.
“Are you sure it'll be time to go to heaven?” She asked him, not prepared for any answer.
“Yes, and I'll miss you when I get there” He said.
The bottom dropped out.
The conversation stopped there, as you would expect, but apparently, the echoes remained for the remainder of the evening. I've spoken to both of them about the conversation, and it's helped to alleviate the fears that they are anticipating. But now it's my turn. That's the bitch of it really. Being the Rock you really don't have anywhere else to turn. I do have friends to chat with about it, but for me that doesn't alleviate the situation. It doesn't make the bitter jagged pill go down any easier. Talking about it doesn't make it go away, it just fortifies it even further. So I do what I do best. I slam the verbiage to paper, and I continue on with my life.