“Promise me something Mom? Promise me that he wont die.”
Now Patrick is stuck in the middle of that certain age a child reaches where parent’s know nothing, yet they can still do anything. What he was hoping for was a miracle.
“I can only promise that the best will be done for him.” I said, as reassuring as I could.
It was so very hard to mask the true worry I felt but I was sure Patrick couldn’t read it. He’s never been good at understanding emotions. Not anyone’s, and certainly not his own. He just knew he felt tense and frightened.
We both sat in the white, brightly lit waiting room; Dragon bundled in a soft baby blanket within my son’s arms as we listened intently for our turn. To my left, a large old Lab with swollen joints groaned nervously beside his owner. To my son’s right was a woman with small carrier on her lap. I think it was a pair of kittens. She seemed proud with that "new pet” goofy grin on her face.
“His breathing sounds bad.” He continued. He was right, there was this horrible rattling. Yet it had gotten so much worse and then Dragon’s mouth opened, gasping hard. We had been waiting in that lobby for an hour. Way to long…way, way to long!
Patrick screamed, "Cant he be seen NOW?!"I got up, taking the bundle and hurried over to the nurse, trying to explain to them how this little guy was in allot of trouble. Patrick paced, his fists clenched. The nurse peeked into the bundle I cradled in my arms and that’s when things seemed to move fast. Dragon was taken from my arms and whisked away.
Patrick didn’t want to go into the room. He was to far on the edge and his little body just stiffened when I moved to hold his hand. So we, together, waited outside in the waiting room. He curled into one of the chairs and started rocking. A repetitive motion that some Asperger children use to sooth themselves. I reached into my purse and handed him his “Game Boy”. Something to recoil into mentally, some small world he could retreat into. He slowed his rocking and soon the bleeps, bells and tiny midi songs moved him away from the pain he was feeling.
I’m not sure when Dragon took his last breath. I pray he knew in some way how much Patrick loved him and how grateful I am for all the help he had given to such a special boy.
I left instructions for his small body to be cremated. On Tuesday afternoon, when a frost lingered in the air, his ashes were sprinkled along a frozen patch of clover in our back yard.
There will never be another Dragon.