When tomorrow morning comes, and I wake up, I will be grateful I survived another year without him. I will take a deep breath and do the same thing I have done for the past 3 years. I will roll over in bed to stare into the green light from our security camera that sits on the top corner of our bedroom. Four grief filled years ago today, that camera gave me strength to wake up another day.
When everyone left our home on the night Joey died, I went upstairs and crumbled onto the bedroom floor. My husband laid beside me trying his best, yet failing miserably, to comfort me. There was just no comfort to be had. When he finally got me into bed, he desperately fought to stay awake. He was afraid that in my dark state of mind, I would take one or five extra pills to take the immense pain away. I assured him I would be OK. I convinced him that I only felt like dying but that I would never follow through. He was so exhausted. He closed his eyes “for just a minute” and quickly fell asleep. I, though, just laid in bed gasping for breath. I felt as if I was suffocating. I could not breathe…I could not move…I could not feel…. I did not feel human. It felt like those night terrors most of us have experienced. You try desperately to wake up, but you can’t. You scream and no sound comes out. Then, just when you finally exhale a sigh of relief knowing it was just a dream, the terror drags you back in. The nightmare continues.
I needed to get control of myself. I was not of sound mind. I felt like I was in a house of mirrors with no way out. If I did not squash the thoughts of despair, I KNEW, without a doubt, I would not wake up in the morning. I knew I had lied to my husband. I was not OK. I just wanted to die along with my first born.
As I laid in the darkness of our bedroom, I began to stare into that green light from our security camera. It was almost as if something or someone was drawing me to it. I muffled my cries into the palm of my hand in order not to wake my husband. I quietly started begging God. “Please God! Bring him back…Joey, PLEASE come back! Don’t leave me! Oh honey, please let me know you’re OK ! I NEED to know you’re OK or I can’t do this!” Then, as soon as the last words left my mouth, the green light that, by the way is hardwired and I had never seen blink in the 8 years that we had it, started blinking. I began to feel a strange sense of peace came over me and I started to count those blinks. One…Two…Three… I got all the way to 16, and then it stopped blinking. I glanced over at the other camera light in our hallway, thinking there may be a glitch in the system. Nothing. That hallway light never flickered once. I waited for a few seconds just to be sure. Then, as I was reaching over to wake my husband from his sleep to let him know about the light, it started blinking again. Once again, I started counting. Once again it stopped at 16. I laid there, almost paralyzed. Could it be? Was it my grief playing mind games with me? Was it that far fetched thinking that God or Joey heard my cries of despair?? How can I deny this ‘coincidence’? Joey was born on the 16th and left me on the 16th. God lent him to me for only 32 years. Two sets of 16 blinks. 32 blinks for 32 years. I let out a sigh of relief, closed my eyes and fell asleep.
So, when tomorrow morning comes, and my body wakes from its slumber, I will thank God for helping me make it through one more year. I will then turn on my back and gaze into the green light. I will close my eyes and I will lie as still as I can . A huge sigh will escape my body and my breathing will begin slow. The peace and quiet of the room will engulf me. I will place my right palm over my heart, and I will begin to feel the beats radiating through my hand. I will hear each beat echoing in my head. One…two…three… I will count each one until I hit 32. At the precise moment of the 32nd heart beat fading away, I will open my eyes and quickly remove my hand from my chest. There is no need to keep it there any longer. My heart stopped beating when his did.