Friday, September 25, 2009

The Henry Stare

"You can't leave me Bob. I can't do this without you. What am I going to do? I don't want to lose you," I pleaded with him, choking and gasping for breath.

Bob stayed right there in front of me as if he was trying to keep me from falling apart, limb by limb, right there in the living room. He didn't say a word, just remained there with me, hands firmly on me thighs, a solid presence.

I don't know how long I carried on. It might have been quite a while or maybe just a moment. Slowly unfolding from the fetal position, coming back to my surroundings, my breathing slowing down, I looked around the room. My eyes landed on Henry on the other side of coffee table, quietly standing there in the dark corner absorbing the entire scene, giving us the wide eyed Henry Stare. That look he had in his eye that made you think he could see more than just what was in the room.

"Hey, Bud, do you want to watch Blues Clues?" I asked stupidly, attempting to distract him from this ugly scene. He was not a child who was easy to distract. He had straight forward questions that we answered as honestly as we could.

He knew daddy was sick and the doctors were trying to make him better. He knew the "straw" in daddy's arm was how the medicine got in. He knew that because of that straw Daddy was unable to go swimming with him this summer. He knew that the blood cancer Daddy had was so bad that the medicine they had to give him made him feel even sicker and made his hair fall out. He knew he was staying with his aunts more often so that Mommy and Daddy could go to doctor appointments. He knew Mommy was having a baby.

He knew a lot, he knew way more than any three year old should have to know. And now he knew that his mommy was terrified and that Daddy could get lost. How much more would he have to know before this was all done I wondered?

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