Most every night when my head hits the pillow, I do the same thing: I remember that night. My eyes dart around behind their lids as I revisit and reenact that same chronology. I don’t always go through the whole thing; usually, my mind fixates on some detail and tries to place it in context. I’m sure this is just a part of post-traumatic stress, and it will start happening less frequently. I’m probably trying to fit all of the pieces together, to exert some kind of control over a night that was completely out of my control. In any case, it is interesting to see what my brain brings out each time.
A couple of weeks ago, it was the fact that I put Will’s milk back in the cooler when he stopped breathing. I think I was expecting him to start breathing again, as he had every time before. A couple of nights ago, it was the placement of the furniture in the room. When the doctor and nurse hit the Code Blue, I reflexively moved the table, chairs, and the makeshift bed I had been laying on, off to the edges of the room so that the code team would have room to work. But the bed itself was at an angle when I came back in, and I wonder why.
Last night, I recalled that I had my cell phone with me. As I lay there on my pillow last night, I was sitting at the nurse’s station, and it just popped into my hand. Weird. So I thought for a minute and remembered that, yes, I had called Stacy, and then I called Gospel Matt. And I sure wouldn’t have remembered Matt’s number on a good day, much less at 3am, and under those circumstances. So I must have picked it up at some point. But when? Did I put it in my pocket when I got up out of the bed? Probably not. I must have picked it up after his breathing and heartbeat stopped. But why? How could I have been so calculating while he lay there? I put the milk away, and moved the furniture, and grabbed the phone, instead of saying goodbye to him or crying. How could I? Well, it’s because I expected him to come back. Why did I? He was already gone.