Sacred Spark - Page 3
I chastised myself for not understanding how my child had struggled to process the outside world until this dramatic change. The change in Wesley’s pupils and his new ability to transition into the sunshine, walk down stairs, and suddenly match a picture to its corresponding 3D object during therapy, might have seemed dramatic, in and of themselves, had it not been for the bath.
Had I only understood that Wesley had no depth perception from the time of his diagnosis to this point, I would have known why he hugged the faucet once Seth and I finally succeeded at wrestling him into the tub. It was the only violation of the white, the only beacon in the storm. Shiny and gray, the stainless steel faucet protruded in stark contrast to the white abyss of the fiberglass shower. In order to have this only point of reference to secure him, Wesley had to be within two inches of it. Therefore, he would plaster his back against the tub directly beside the faucet, and refuse to move anywhere. I had no idea that for Wesley, the spigot was a flag in the blizzard, and a meager promise of return from a world of white infinity. That faucet was Wesley’s only hope of ever finding his way back to a place where there were shapes and colors, however odd they might seem to him.
At last, I knew why this naked child clung to me as if he would die, should I let go of him, whenever I tried stubbornly to place him in the bath water. My precious child, my second son, thought his mother was about to pitch him into a chasm when I, instead, was only trying to get him into the tub. For me to hold Wesley by the side of the white fiberglass tub, I now realized, was for me to dangle him over the sheerest cliff on Mt. Everest. Wesley feared for his life, convinced that if he let go of me, he would fall for an eternity through the nearly seamless and smooth whiteness. And in the face of such terror, he could utter not one single cry, nor explain to us the horror that gripped him, just as he gripped me.
Now, after an unusually large dump of mercury in Wesley’s urine, Seth and I watched in amazement as our little boy sat gleefully in the tub and splashed in the water as he once had in infancy, before mercury fully invaded his brain.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #21.
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