I've been questioning lately if I'm becoming numb to emotion. If I can still love like I used to. Care about anything as deeply as I did when my children were young, my family was growing, my career was budding.
Tonight I think I know the answer.
I haven't cried like this, or feared deep loss like this, since my mother was dying.
But that was my mother. This is my child.
I simply can't bear the thought of losing Luke.
I don't know how parents of terminally ill children get through such heart-wrenching times. I have a full-grown, 19-year-old, healthy son and I will be crying myself to sleep tonight at the thought of what just happened becoming something much worse.
I just watched Luke get clocked during a basketball game and slam to the ground. Nothing broke his fall. Just his head.
I was watching the game in my cubicle before anchoring the 10pm news, during which I often report terrible stories about concussions, accidents, falls, and beatings. I've heard too many times the deadly brain hemorrhages that can follow such head trauma. Luke's injury sent me into a tailspin.
After witnessing my reaction to his fall, my sweet producer told me not to worry about doing the newscast. I knew I could pull it together and clean up enough to do the show. No one would know. After all, Luke was able to stand up and walk off the court. Sure, he looked out of it. He wobbled. But he did stand up and walk.
But I knew what would likely happen. Our 10pm news has a sportscast in it. I'd have to see that video all over again. This was the semi-finals of the N.I.T. tournament against Stanford, for the chance to play at Madison Square Garden. When ESPN replayed the incident right after it happened, I think I screamed. I don't remember. I pretty much lost it. If I had to watch that again on-air?
I took my producer up on her offer and allowed myself to sit this newscast out.
I've been crying off and on ever since.
Tonight I sit here on my living room couch, fearing the worst....what happens if? My husband is in California and says Luke is talking. He is repeating the same questions over and over, but Frank assures me he'll be okay. I am praying, pleading to God that I don't have to let go of my child tonight or tomorrow or any day while I'm still on this planet. You just don't know with brain injuries. I am typically a positive, hopeful person. But the thought of losing my son? I can't imagine it. The pain I'm feeling right now is almost too much for me to bear.
For all of you parents who've endured such a loss...I am just so, so sorry. There are no words that will ever provide the peace or comfort you must so deeply crave. My heart is breaking for you tonight.
I don't ever want to forget that. Or lose compassion for you. I don't ever want to read another news story and not feel deep sympathy for the families affected by the personal, devastating losses we report.
I guess I'm not so numb after all.