Sitting and Watching

Day 1 - Friday, Jan. 25th Ribbons of pink sunrise surround our house this morning.  Horizontal pinks line the sky and grow in intensity before giving way to the full glare of the morning sun.

That’s the background view out the window as I sit on the couch watching Liam.  At sunrise, he woke up screaming with a fever and a headache.  When I explained he had a bug, Liam wondered if it was a hot bug that landed on the top of his head.  When I explained he had a fever, Liam decided it was because he I had too many dreams in his head.

After giving him a dose of Tylenol, I sit and watch Liam.  Feeling his hot head.  Moving covers on and off.  Looking for any sign of a febrile seizure.  Realistic or not, that’s where my mind goes when fever comes into our house.

Will had a febrile seizure 6 years and 11 months ago when he was two, but I didn’t know that until we got to the hospital by ambulance.  I was at the kitchen counter, chatting away with my back to him.  When all was quiet behind me, I turned to see him slumped over in his chair.  I dialed 911.  I took him out of his chair and watched his lips turn blue.  His body was limp and I couldn’t feel his breath.  The quiet words “This is it?  I’ve lost him?” laced through my numb mind.

Then, I heard a firm voice say aloud, “No!  This is not going to happen!”  I did the Heimlich maneuver thinking perhaps he had choked on a grape.  I gave him a couple puffs mouth-to-mouth to make him breathe.  By that time, a police officer was at my door.  I opened the door from the floor where I was crouched holding Will, waiting to give him to somebody who could do more than I.  My neighbor arrived and arranged to get Bill from work to the hospital to meet me.  The ambulance arrived.  The paramedics were so calm, saying that he was responsive and coming around.  I didn’t see it.  I wanted them to whisk him out of my arms and make him better.

I sat in the front seat of the ambulance on the way to the hospital.  My body pulled taut, emotional armor.  My mind pleading with God.  I heard the paramedics calm again, saying he was still coming around.  I don’t remember much between that ride and the point where Will from the hospital bed hugged me and asked for the “fuzzy” oxygen monitor to be taken out from between his toes.  My body, emotions, and mind went limp.  Over the hump.  On our way to normal.

With a rotating 3-hour pattern of Tylenol then Advil, Will was fine a few days later.  However, I sat looking at the shadow of his blue lips for days.  Then the phone rang a week later and the voice of our adoption social worker was on the other end.  Linda... Will has a little brother, and Korea is willing to waive the age restriction for parents if you and Bill will raise the boys together.  My sobbing must have been confusing to her.

The call brought me out of a funk and left me with a feeling of ubiquitous webbing between Will’s seizure and bringing home his little brother Liam.  Had we passed a universal test?  Were there underpinnings of a gracious hand at work?

Day 4 – Monday, Jan. 28th

Blue gray sky puts a drab coating over the morning, sitting day 4 with Liam – still fighting a fever with alternating Tylenol and Advil every three hours.  Liam asks if I’m writing a story.


Is it a mystery?

I smile, Yes.