“Dylan’s a lovely boy,” his mother would often recite. “He loves the outdoors and the freedom that comes with it,” she’d usually continue.
“Poor boy, wants to be an explorer when he’s older! He roams the woods out the back of our house with his little magnifying glass and notebook,” She’d remark most of the time.
“And Gary,” her husband, “Always says to him - ‘why wait until you’re older? Are you not exploring the woods now? Are you therefore not an explorer already?
’- it always puts such a great beaming smile on little Dylan’s face!” She would normally recall, a similar smile finding her lips.
“It is such a pity though,” is her Volta, “It’s such a god-awful pity about his… condition,” she’ll recount, a weight settling on her shoulders and the back of her throat.
“We really don’t know how to tell him, how to convey the gravity of what it truly is.” She will say thickly, words starting to catch.
“He’s such a lovely boy, and he loves the outdoors so much,
how can we tell him that in a few months it’s all too likely he’ll never see the green of the leaves or the blue of the sky or the kaleidoscope of the forest again?"
“How can we tell him that sometime soon, this world he is yet to explore,
this world he so yearns to explore will fold out from under him; grasped by an invisible hand and taken away for good?” The tears sting her eyes now. “Gary says its something we need to do.
Says we can’t keep him in the dark. Says that leaving him out is unfair.” She’d recount breathlessly. “But it’s all unfair,” she says, starting a crescendo. “It’s all so damn unfair.
It’s unfair that soon his woods, his little bit of the world to explore will be wrenched from him and he’ll end up in some thin hospital bed, in a sterile room.
Trees replaced with drips and machinery, the rustle of the insects replaced with the whirring hum of some life support and the cries of other children.
The open expanse of the endless blue skies replaced with iridescent hospital lights and unchanging white walls!
” Despair begins to tighten its hold on her voice, “How can you tell a boy that he could die at any moment?”
There’ll be a long, lingering pause. Many words unsaid but understood. She’ll wipe her eyes, pawing at the smudged eye makeup and sniffing resolutely. “He’s such a lovely boy.”
“He’ll be fine.”