Yes I voluntarily did this to myself. Spent three days putting this scene off then decided that as 2 of the kids were asleep and the other out playing, I'd bite the biscuit and just do it. So here I am, sore eyes, and several tissues later.
does it have the same impact on others? No idea.
Her smile lit her face, making her eyes glow. “You’re welcome.” Her fingers, her perfectly manicured finger tips, ran over the rim of her cup. “Why the rush though? Such a lovely book deserves time and care.”
He swallowed hard. “I wanted him to see it,” he whispered.
“It’s for a very special kid, the one it’s dedicated to.” He felt his eyes fill with tears and his voice started to wobble. “He was in an accident...no one expected him to survive, but he did. Only now, he has this massive infection and...”
Dawn’s hands covered his. “The little boy we’ve been praying for in church? Craig?”
Jem nodded, struggling to regain control. He wasn’t going to cry. Not here, not now and not in front of her. His phone rang and he pulled it out of his pocket. “Hello?”
“Mr. Anderson, its Tessa from ITU...” His heart froze as she spoke. “I think you should be here. Craig crashed, we got him back, but—”
“I’ll be there.” He closed the phone, his throat tight and his heart threatening to burst from his chest. Somehow he kept his voice level. “I have to go. I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine.” She looked at him as he stood and fumbled for his wallet. “No, I’ll get this.”
His pride bristled. “I can’t let you do that.”
“Sure you can. It was my idea. If it’s easier you can pay next time.”
Jem nodded, leaving the café as fast as he could. He ran to the car. Why had he let her talk him into this? Why had he gone against his better judgement and left the hospital? He drove fast, praying the whole way that the police would look the other way, that the speed cameras weren’t working and that he’d get there in time. Please, let me get there in time.
He gowned and masked and entered ITU to find an army of doctors standing around the bed. He ignored them and took his son’s hand. He shuddered inside. All the bandages were off now, Craig’s burned body open to the air. Tears ran slowly down his face. “I’m here,” he whispered. “Just hang on for another day. It’s almost done.”
One of the doctors, he wasn’t sure which one, spoke. “Craig’s body is shutting down. His systems are failing one by one. We could revive him again, but to be honest—”
Jem looked up. “It’s okay. He died a long time ago. Let him go.” He looked down at his son, reciting the prayer he’d taught him. “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, look upon a little child...”
The alarms went off. Jem glanced up as every single one flat-lined. Tears streaming, his voice cracking, he continued praying. “Pity my simplicity. Suffer me to come to Thee...”
and the funeral is just as heartbreaking with its descriptions of small coffins and football shirts. But honestly, I'm not sobbing like I was. Wanna know why?
It wasn't Craig I saw when I wrote. It was my ten week old son, hooked up to all the monitors ITU could offer, wriggling one minute, then going stiff, blue, all the monitors flat lining and howling...