“And when I’m gone just carry on don’t mourn,
Rejoice every time you hear the sound of my voice, just know that,
I’m lookin’ down on you smilin’
And I didn’t feel a thing so baby, don’t feel no pain, just smile back.”
I’m about to be as real as Eminem is in his songs. He can tell the truth, make millions, say profanities and get away with it. Now it’s my turn. Don’t worry, I won’t have a potty mouth.
Let’s go back in time with Daniel. Some know he was kinda a difficult kiddo. Don’t worry, he will not mind me telling his story, he’s not ashamed. Beginning at the age of 5 our troubles began. I won’t go into specific details but I will say it was 90% behavioral issues. Unfortunately Joe and I are not strangers to the word ‘suicide’. At the tender age of 10, Daniel attempted for the first time (this was after a battle with Bell’s palsy). A rope, a tree, a 7 year old little brother screaming his head off for him to stop, his uncle coming around the corner to find him, cut him down, deep marks on his neck. You get the picture. Not many know this because we haven’t talked about it openly. We honestly did not know what to do and thought it was a cry for help, or a cry for attention. Skip a few years and several more attempts later, at 15, Daniel was uncontrollable. Then the epilepsy and chiari malformation diagnosis succomed him. Daniel felt beat. He eventually asked to be sent to a mental hospital for help. We called his phycologist and at 10pm we drove him to Abilene. He stayed 12 days. When he was released, Daniel seemed clearer. Some months later, he tried to overdose after getting into an argument with me. Three days in ICU and 12 more in Abilene. Then brain surgery. Decompression saved his life. If we had only known sooner. But there wasn’t enough research at the time to support the depression and anxiety theory of chiari.
I am not a stranger to monsters under my bed.
I worried about Zane’s mental state at times. He witnessed more than any child should have to. What happened with Daniel was not intentional, it was all medical. We were in the Bermuda triangle of chiari and trapped long before we were even aware. Zane despised it when Daniel would fight with Joe and I. We hated it too. Like most siblings, they fought too. They were typical brothers. Like any older brother, Daniel was significantly bigger than Zane until Zane was about 13. Daniel would torture him, choke, slap, etc. Soon Zane was able to defend himself tho and Daniel quit. I didn’t know about several of these instances until years later when the guilt got under Daniel’s skin and he confessed. By then Zane had forgiven his big brother. Zane loved Daniel very much. In January of this year Daniel and Adrianna moved into their own place with Zeagan. At this time, him and Zane began to get closer. I think it was because they were not in each other’s space any more.
Daniel, my son, “you own it, you better never let it go.”
When you only have two children and you lose one, all of a sudden, you constantly worry about losing the other child. Daniel has struggled his entire life mentally so that’s my number one concern. My mind does not stop. I can’t shut the valve off. I have images of scenerios that could happen. It’s torture. An accident. A severe seizure. Another medical issue with chiari. The list continues. Another nightmare. I want to take care of him like he was a toddler or an infant all over again because I’m so afraid. I can’t lose him too. I just can’t. Monday about 2pm I get another frantic phone call. Daniel has been in a car accident. All I can think is…holy freaking $#!t deja vu. I drive almost the same path to Levelland from Lubbock. Deja vu. Thank goodness I didn’t have to turn down Country Road to get to Maize Rd tho. My heart would have stopped right then and there. I wound up turning around after I picked up Adrianna and Katherine and headed back to Lubbock to the ER. Silly me was going a tad too fast and was pulled over but only received a warning. Much different from July 26th, I still do not remember how I got to the house when I know my speed was in excess of 135 mph+. Daniel lost control of the truck, hit a pole, blacked out, tore his eye open, broke his nose and is on observation overnight from the seat belt across his neck (artery). He thinks he dropped his coke but he doesn’t remember anything after that. Could have been a seizure, we don’t know. He looks like Billy Hope in SouthPaw. I would have said he looks like he fought Mike Tyson but he still has his ear. Daniel did not want to stay the night at the hospital but for my sake and Joe’s he did. He HATES hospitals with a passion. The ultrasound results were fine so they sent him home. My stomach is still sick. The world is turning and I’m spinning even faster getting dizzier and dizzier. Is it ok to officially ask if God if he’s mad at me? If someone tells me it could have been worse I might lose my ummmmm you know what…
“…sittin’ in this empty house, just reminiscing looking at your baby pictures….now hush little baby don’t you cry everything’s gonna be alright…”
Daniel will have the privilege of telling his son stories of Zane. Some will be funny, some serious, some well, not either! There’s probably a few I don’t even know about. Zeagan will grow up knowing how amazing Zane was. Not just from Joe and I but from his Daddy and Adrianna. Adrianna loved him too. Zane was her little brother. She was his stupid snail. He admired her, for putting up with Daniel (haha) and for being a young mom while finishing high school. Zane knew Adrianna would be a good mom, he told me all of the time. Zeagan will grow up to be a great young man just like his Uncle Zane Zane because of his mom and dad.
“I’m supposed to be the soldier who never blows his composure
Even though I hold the weight of the whole world on my shoulders
Step by step, heart to heart, left right left
We all fall down like toy soldiers
Bit by bit, torn apart, we never win
But the battle wages on for toy soldiers…”