The morning sun peeked through the trees as another beautiful fall Friday was beginning.
This mother had just returned from taking her neighbor to work. She poured herself two cups of coffee that she had brewed before she left, and went upstairs to wake her youngest son.
As she climbed the stairs, she thought how wonderful the day was and she was looking forward to going to a morning movie with her husband and their youngest son. It had been so long since they had been able to go together. Between the full time job at the Iron Works and the part time job he held at the local grocery store early in the morning, her son’s days were busy. He was determined to make something of the poor decisions he had made over three years ago. When he wasn’t working, he was playing basketball at the gym, Texas Hold’Em on the internet, Dexter or watching a sport, any sport on TV. Life was getting good and she was proud of the way he had handled the past three years, taking responsibility for all the wrong decisions he had made, and working hard on his new future.
His old life was in parenthesis compared to the path he was taking now. Three years ago he suffered from neck and brain injuries he sustained when the SUV he had been driving went airborne at 100mph, colliding with a metal street lamp. The SUV he had been driving was unrecognizable. The rescue workers were stunned when they saw the passenger door open and her son stood up, rubbing his neck. The only visible signs of injury was a small gash on his forehead, which was enough to place him on the flatboard and airlift him to the nearest hospital.
There were only a few times when he was frustrated that things would not get better, especially when he was cleared to begin to work and he was let go from job after job because of the residual impact of the brain injury. would stay in bed only a day, before starting out new the next day. He never gave up. He knew he would get better, because she said he would. He just told her that recently, thanking her for believing in him so much.
Smiling, she went upstairs to wake her son because he had asked her to last night. She didn’t mind. She never minded at all. He usually slept through the alarms, being a deep sleeper all of his life, one of the usual habits that let her know that he really was recovering, slowly but surely.
As she approached his room and opened his door, she realized that the TV was still on and it was rather loud. That’s strange, she thought. He never slept with the TV on.
She reached for the TV, turning it off with the remote, saying,” Todd, your TV is kind of loud. Did you sleep with it that loud?”
She turned to her son, with the happiness of the day swelling in her heart. It was going to be a good day.
But in that moment, when she saw her son laying on the bed as if he had just sat down and fell asleep, her heart stopped. The words were frozen in midair. It seemed the air was just sucked out of the room as she struggled to take a breath. She didn’t recognize that the mournful wail that filled that quiet, happy morning, was her own. She crawled to his body and cradled him in her arms as her mind went numb and her tears filled the space, as she willed her life to go to him.
In an instant, without warning, it was not a good day. There would not be another good day for a very long time.