After he said he wanted to go home, I took Brant’s hand.
“Do you remember me?” I asked him.
“I love you,” he answered in that strange new voice we’d all get used to in the coming months. I smiled and kissed his fingers.
“I love you more,” I answered. His eyes narrowed at me, but he looked around at his family. My admission was something we’d discuss during a private moment later. He squeezed my hand gently. At first, I thought it was his attempt at being gentle, but we’d also find out that he’d have to relearn how to use his limbs, walk, talk and pretty much start over as an infant would from birth.
“I’ll be back at the next visiting hour,” I told him after his family talked to him for awhile. There wasn’t much he could say in response. His words were indistinguishable, as if he spoke another language.
As soon as Brant’s visiting hours were up, the family and I went to the waiting area. He hadn’t been awake for more than a few hours and the family told me, “You have to tell him what happened while he was asleep or we will.”
“He needs to rest and recuperate. He doens’t need to know his daughter was molested while he was under. That could set him back.”
“We don’t believe she was. That’s why we want you to tell him. He’ll be on our side.”
“You don’t know my husband very well, then do you?” I asked back and walked away from them. There was no way I would tell him something so shocking so soon after he awoke. There was no need. My daughter was fine (as fine as could be), and Brant’s recovery was the most important thing.
At this point, we didn’t know what sort of damage had been done to his brain or organs from being under so long and being on an oscillating ventilator, which is the ventilator that vibrates air into the lungs. He didn’t takes breaths like you and I anymore. His lungs vibrated, air entering and leaving in an extremely fast rate.
Brant’s stepmother, father and brother followed me as I walked away.
“I’m serious. If you don’t tell him, we will.” His father said.
I walked faster. I made it to the chapel and fell to my knees.
I don’t remember the exact prayer I prayed, but I do know I asked God for wisdom. I knew I could throw his family out, but that would make things worse. I might end up attacked on my way to my car if I had to leave to take money to mama. But Brant might also end up back where we were a day before if they stressed his body or mind, too much. I just asked God for his hand of protection over us.
In three hours, it was time for his next visitation and we’d be alone. I looked forward to it so much, yet dreaded it at the same time. His family had stolen what should have been one of the sweetest moments of my life…