How Many Lives Does a Weasel Have?
My question is, how many lives does a Weasel have.
Those who know my family well, know that my youngest boy "Joshua Dylan" had adopted the nickname "Weasel". This moniker was appointed no less than 20 seconds of him gulping his first breath of air. Just after he adjusted to the world outside of mommy's womb, and began breathing air, he opened his eyes and just looked at me in a way that was way too confident for his own good. Immediately he grins and stares deeply into my eyes as if he recognizes the fact that this is his first gaze upon his own father. I instinctively recognized the look, and nicknamed him Weasel immediately.
The moment ends as quickly as it begins and he poops and screams bloody murder...
Saturday June 21st 2008, 3pm PST.
I have 2 hours before I close my Sales and Lease store for the weekend. The staff, except for 2 others, have been sent home. It's been a long hard week and we are all thankful for a day with our families.
My cell phone rings and my wife is on the other line, not unexpected... with the exception of her tone... there's emergency in her voice...
Dylan went to the hospital.
Just that morning I awoke with something weighing me down. I awoke with a poem on my mind: Rudyard Kipling's "IF".
I posted it before I went to work with only the intention of having it more prominently available in my mind. I even printed out the poem and took it to work with me and had it placed under the same keyboard I would pound on for the next several hours. Lines of the poem would occasionally jump into my mind as they resided just under my palms.
One week ago Grandma and Grandpa came to visit. By the end of the visit, we were willing to allow two of the boys to go back to Las Vegas with them. We we were going to go to Las Vegas on Fourth of July weekend, so we would pick them up then.
Tyler (our oldest) and Dylan (our youngest boy), were allowed to go. Our kids have a blast with Grandma and Grandpa as well as with their Aunties and Uncles who all reside in Las Vegas.
I hung up the phone with my wife who just told me why Dylan was taken to the hospital.
For only a moment he was unwatched. He was in the kiddie part of the pool and decided to take his floatie off. While making his way out of the kiddie pool and toward Grandma, he slipped on the edge and fell into the deep end of the adult pool. When this happened, no one had noticed...
The area of the pool where Dylan had been splashing and had apparently been having a good time, was quiet. Attention was turned toward his sphere. He was face down in the water and not moving.
I hung up my cell after having just received the news of Dylan's drowning. The spirit inside of me seemingly jumped out of my mortal body in an attempt to arrive at the scene of the tragedy instantaneously. This triggers a massive dump of adrenaline into my bloodstream. I realized that I am a 6 hour drive away from being with my little buddy, my namesake.
Clicking the cell back onto my belt I walked out of my store. I needed to avoid the awkward moment of screaming at the top of my lungs at a complete stranger. I was susceptible to all out turrets syndrome at that moment. I went into the parking lot completely helpless and stared at the tree studded hill in front of me; I was almost 400 miles away from my little man and he needed me.
Tyler and Breanne (both 9 years old) swam toward the limp body. They pushed him toward the edge where Grandma was reaching to pull him out. He was pulled out and had purplish lips and eye sockets. He was way low on oxygen and he was not breathing. Grandma laid him on his stomach and began massaging his back while calling his name to illicit a response. She then stuck her fingers down his throat to trigger a gag reflex and suddenly water begins to eject from his mouth. He pukes a stomach/chest full of water and coughs his little head off.
This is when Rhonda gets the call...
Soon after Rhonda calls me...
I called one of my associates and told him to close the store for me, I had to leave. I ran to my truck with a 220lb body full of adrenaline ready to spontaneously combust.
Dylan was taken to an Emergency Care. He was checked out by a nurse and the nurse called me while I was in route to Vegas with the news that he will require observation for the next few hours because he had achieved unconscious during the episode. All I cared about was that he was being monitored and I finally had the opportunity to relax.
I had yet to release a tear, (the rage at being so far away was immediate as evidenced by the damage to the knuckles on my right hand) but now the tears began to flow. It made getting to I-40 West in Holbrook that much more difficult. The hazard lights were turned on and the accelerator was pressed to the floor.
5 more hours before I could see my lil Joshua.
By the time I got to Kingman it had grown dark and I had not had the radio on. I had been entranced by the rushing air through the rolled down windows of my '97 Ford Ranger Super Cab while my mind raced embracing every possible scenario.
Turning north onto RT 68 toward the Hoover Dam I pushed the seek mode on the AM dial. Soon a local station emerged in the billion star lit sky. I'm not sure what tribe it was, I'm assuming Navajo, but I heard a ceremonial song where there were several men chanting in their native language with all their soul to the beat of a bass drum. The world seemed to hinge on their chant. I rode that chanting into the outskirts of Las Vegas where the radio station faded into the blackness of the sky above me. I knew everything was going to be ok and that I would once again wrap my arms around the little goofy man I nicknamed the Weasel.
At Grandma's house I began hugging anyone within arm's reach. I couldn't perceive life without Dylan and thankfully I didn't have to. My eye sockets were sore from their excretions.
He was just falling asleep on an air mattress in front of Grandma's tv. I cupped his little shaved head in my hands and began covering his forehead in upside-down kisses. He opened his eyes and said, "I wuv you daaaad."
Tonight I'm back home with a severe case of truck driver's tan. My left arm is a deep maroon while my right arm is on the upswing of last weekend's fishing trip. None of that matters because the Weasel is back home.
On the way home I played a couple of mixed tapes that I had made in the latter half of the 1990's. One song pierced my soul and opened the floodgates of tears yet again. It's posted here not to be watched, but to be listened to.
Play the song, hit your knees, bow your head, let the Spirit flow...
This song is for Dylan... Silly Willy... Mr. Weasel Man.