My Son, My Valentine,

By Captainkodak1

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I step into the hallway and make my way to his room. I haven't seen him in a day or so but I had to work. Sometimes I wonder in the restaurant would fall to pieces if I wasn't there every minute. I notice the hearts decorating the walls. There were also cartoon characters on the walls, with teddy bears and balloons. I stop at the nurse's station to chat with a couple of the nurses we know. When you are around as much as we are you learn to call the nurses by their first names. I glance in some of the rooms as I walk down the hall to his room. I stop to talk with one mother. Her son lies in the bed, silent, his eyes closed. The myriad of machines monitoring him and giving him medicine fills the room. His mother and I lock eyes. A silent message passes between us that only parents in this situation could understand. My son's door is in front of me and I knock quietly. Kim's voice calls out.

"Come in."

I slowly push open the door with one hand while I hold my other hand holding the bag behind me. Kim stands as I enter the room and step up to the bed. My son lies sleeping in that hospital bed. I look up to see the tears in Kim's eyes and I step around the end of the bed and take her in my arms. She slips her head onto my shoulder and sighs as her arms wrap around me tight. We stand there for a few minutes just the two of us. I give her a kiss on her head and pull her face up so I can look into those beautiful green eyes.

"Your mom is waiting downstairs in the cafeteria. You need to go down and get something to eat. You also need to step outside for a few minutes; you have been in the room all day."

Kim shook her head but I covered her lips with my finger.

"Your mom told me to tell you that you are not too big to take across her lap, so go get something to eat and maybe take a walk outside. He and I will be fine."

She nodded as she bent over to give our son a kiss. Then she slid quietly from the room closing the door behind her. I knelt by the side of my son's bed so my head would be level with his. I was so tired but nothing would keep me from sharing this moment with my son.

I'm down on my knees again tonight
I'm hoping this prayer will turn out right
See there is a boy that needs Your help
I've done all that I can do myself

I know that Kim had to be tired. She has been in this room since they entered him into the hospital. She stays with him 24 hours a day, she goes down when it is time for a procedure and stays with him a far as the doctors let her. Then when he comes out she is right there. I can look into her eyes and see they are puffy from crying. I know she tried not to let me know so I would not worry.

His mother is tired
I'm sure You can understand
Each night as he sleeps
She goes in to hold his hand
And she tries not to cry
As the tears fill her eyes

I close my eyes and hold his hands. Why? Dear God, Why? He has been through so much. Can you really see him God? Can you see the tube running down his nose to his stomach? Can you see the IV needles in both arms? Can you see his little body shudder in pain? I hear the slight hiss of the morphine pump giving him that little bit of medicine. Please dear God, please, take this from him and give to me. Oh dear God please.

Can You hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see him?
Can You make him feel all right?
If You can hear me
Let me take his place somehow
See, he's not just anyone
He's my son

I look around the room as he sleeps. The pictures he has drawn decorate the room. He loves to draw, I know he want to learn to draw better. I know he wants to run and play. I vision a young boy running the sun. No pain, no doctors, no procedures. I fight the tears from flowing down my face. I can't do this without you God. He needs your help so much. There is only so much I can do. Please God. Let him grow old. Let him live a life without pain. Let him live a life without fear. Give him strength. I don't know what I would do without him.

Sometimes late at night I watch him sleep
I dream of the boy he'd like to be
I try to be strong and see him through
But God who he needs right now is You
Let him grow old
Live life without this fear
What would I be
Living without him here
He's so tired and he's scared
Let him know that You're there

He stirs a moment and opens his eyes. His deep brown eyes captivate me and capture my soul. In his eyes I see pain, pain that cannot be measured. His hand moves slightly and takes mine. I feel in his touch. I see in his eyes a request. "Make the pain go away daddy. Make the pain go away." I reach over and stroke his forehead. He closed his eyes at my touch as if where a cool soothing cloth. Reaching down with my other hand I slide the bag I brought onto his bed. He smiles and reaches out clumsily to hold it. I gently pull the heart shaped card out and show it to him. Then the small stuffed animal that he clutches to him. Finally the movie he had been wanting. At least watching the movie in the morning would take his mind off where he was. I lean forward and place a kiss on his head.

"Go to sleep my little Valentine."

He closes his eyes and goes back to sleep with a slight smile on his face. I pull a chair beside the bed so that I can lay my head on his bed and watch him. How many more holidays will we send in some hospital? How much pain can my son stand? Why is this happening? I bow my head against his bed.

Can You hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see him?
Can You make him feel all right?
If You can hear me
Let me take his place somehow
See, he's not just anyone
He's my son

With all the technology in the world; with all the money of the nations; why can't we relieve the suffering of a precious child? We are not alone in our pain. There is so much suffering going on here on this floor in this hospital. But God this is my son. Please God, he is my love, he is my Valentine. Please God…

Can You hear me?
Can You see him?
Please don't leave him
He's my son

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I don't know if this qualifies for MrP's contest, but I submit it as it is.

This is written in loving honor of my son. For the times we shared in the myriad of hospitals. For the movies we have watched, for the games I have played and for the times I simply just held his hand.

Duke Children's Hospital has treated him for years. They are having a Telethon this week through Valentine's Day. A song came up during the Telethon that gave me this idea. The song is "He's My Son" by Mark Shultz.

Thanks for reading.