Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sleep In Heavenly Peace

Back in September when all we could do was watch Max lay on a warmer bed with seventeen tubes coming out of him, Angie and I would comfort ourselves by dreaming of the future. We would talk about fishing trips with Max, camping and how he would learn piano from his mom. We would laugh to ourselves when we thought of "Daddy's Little Helper" in the shop and how I'd probably come home one day to find all my watercolors had been used to create a portrait of the dog which would hang on the refrigerator. But the one goal, the one future that we could see and the one we held onto in the darkest hours was that first Christmas Eve candlelight service at my mother's church.  

We imagined how it would be. I would have him in my arms throughout the service. People would stop for a look and tell us how precious he is. My mother would beam with pride. We would beam with pride. And he would sleep throughout the service.  

This is the dream that kept us going. When the storm was raging, this was our life raft.

When the cancer hit, it gained new life. There we would be, my tough-as-nails son and me, his tough-as-nails father, sitting next to my just-nominated-for-sainthood wife in the family pew, thankful for the opportunity to be seen.  

The chemo tried to derail the dream, but I chose chemo, so it works for me. I let it tell me what to do most of the time (usually, it's a nap, with occasional vomiting), but tonight was different. There was no chemo. There was no fatigue or nausea. There was just a chubby baby boy in a Santa hat at a candlelight service at 7pm.  

The dream happened. Perfectly. Better than we imagined it. Tough-as-nails father needed a tissue to wipe tears from his eyes and more than once he was mouthing the words to the hymns, because he knew if he would try to sing, people would hear his voice crack. Just-nominated-for-sainthood mother had the same problem going on. And Max topped it off. He was good as gold the whole time. He slept through almost all of it, except for one verse of Silent Night when he decided to take a solo to let everyone know that miracles do happen and that his lungs were fine.

Silent Night, Holy Night
All is calm, all is bright...

(Max's Solo) WHAA!

Round yon virgin, mother and child....

That was it. Nothing drawn out, just enough to make a point. Filled the whole church. Supported from the diaphragm. Nice tone.

I couldn't be prouder.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your Christmas Eve story.

Merry Christmas!

The Dankes

Karl and Jayne said...

The merriest of holidays to you! With love, Karl and Jayne