Sunday, May 23, 2010

ok, seriously, you HAVE to read this book!!!!!! (THE WET ENGINE, once again)

When he was born, with his missing chamber, and we thought he might die any day, I loved him inarticulately, and raged at his Maker for making a broken boy, and many a night I sat rocking with him and thought about grace; what grace was this, to build a big pink boy with the bright face of an apple and a heart too weak to drive him through boyhood? A cruel gift of life and death at once. Now he is repaired for a while, a few years, a boyhood, before he needs a man's heart, and I have learned to shut my mouth and learn about grace: the deft grace of the doctors who edited him, the open grace of the thousand people who prayed for him in churches and temples and stupas and chapels and novenas, the grace with which he carries the body God gave him and Dave [Liam's cardiologist] edited and surgeons carved in a way dreamed up by le docteur Francis Fontan.

I rub the peachfuzzcrewcutted head of my boy when he wanders past me in the kitchen, and I hold him in my arms when we sit on the couch in the dark marveling at ogres and orcs, and I rub his back at night, cupping his round face in my hand, whispering Gaelic in his ears, holding his hand when we cross the streets, rubbing his legs and feet when he cries at night from growing pains, feeling his bicep when he flexes to show me he is more powerful than his many heroes, because there is always a jolt of joy in the touch, even when I am furious at him; because when I touch him there he is, and somehow my body never forgets the fear of the loss of his body. There's some kind of electric magnetic thing at play - an electric love in his heart and mine.

"Without touch, God is a monologue, an idea, a philosophy," wrote the late great American mystic Andre Dubus. "He must touch and be touched... in the instant of the touch there is no place for thinking, for talking; the silent touch affirms all that, and goes deeper: it affirms the mysteries of love and mortality."

To which I say amen and then amen and then again amen.

this is from pages 69-70 of The Wet Engine, by Brian Doyle. it's a brilliant book, and this heart dad writes so beautifully of what it's like to live with and love and raise and cherish and fear and nurture a single ventricle kid. it's all true. every word of it (except the word "repair" in the first paragraph; there is no repair for these CHDs). every moment he describes, every emotion, every thought, every fear, every hope, every prayer... this is what it's like.

and i wouldn't change a single second of it. honestly, i wouldn't. especially the good ones.

and especially the bad ones.

because, in those genius words words i hold imo pectore,

"one way or another, he has always found his way."

to which i say amen and then amen and then again amen.

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