Gift in the Trauma Center
La Noche, the night had cast her dark blue blanket across the sky leaving only the moon to quiet the University of New Mexico Trauma center's hustle and bustle. I Waited until everyone had disappeared from my son's private intensive care room before I entered, walking slowly not wanting to draw attention to myself. I wanted to be alone with my 22 year old son. I needed to be alone to give my dying son one last gift.
Unzipping my backpack, I withdrew the sheet music of “Memories”, from the musical play, “Cats.” The cat's yellow eyes on the black cover of the sheet music foretold dark moments ahead.
The song's words, “Memory, all alone in the moonlight”, took a bite out of my heart as I turned the page.
“Jeremy,” I called to him, from the side of his bed. “I'm going to sing a song for you that I've been working on in my voice class."
Being in a coma, unable to make a response, my first born son could not refuse the gift of my voice. I began my song, soft and low, almost a whisper; “Midnight, not a sound from the pavement.”
The instruments in his room were quiet.
"Has the moon lost her memory, She is smiling alone, in the lamplight, the withered leaves collect at my feet and the wind begins to moan.”
A moonbeam shined on Jeremy's face as he lay motionless in his bed. My heart moaned as I continued to sing. Increasing my volume, the song took on a life of its own.
“Memory all alone in the moonlight, I can smile at the old days, It was beautiful then, I remember the time I knew what happiness was, let the memory live again.”
No response came from Jeremy as he lay in his coma. It's as if he had descended into Hades. I was no Orpheus and had no instrument other than my voice to persuade the God of the Underworld to release my son. I made a slight modification as I sang to him.
“Touch me, its so easy to leave me all alone with the memory of my days with my son. If you touch me, you'll understand what happiness is. Look, a new day has begun.”
Tears flowed down my cheeks as Denise wrapped her arms around me from behind making me aware that the room had filled with family and hospital staff. My gift had been shared with all those who heard my melodic gift.