Falling Into The Hands
A Semi-Autographical Story by Patrick R. Aquilone
James had discovered that his big sister left the door open to her room. He was so excited that he could barely contain it in his little sixteen-month-old body. He raced into the room and just stood there for a moment. He wasnít allowed in Katieís room without her around and he didnít know what to do first. He thought about climbing on her bed and playing with the jewelry on her headboard. He thought about grabbing for the puzzles that she loved to do so much. He even thought about playing with the blocks that were neatly stacked on the shelf. He had so much to think about that he stood decided what to do first.
That was when he noticed the open window. James loved looking out the window at whatever was going on outside. There were faint sounds of the laughter of children playing. Faint sounds of fun and joy and it was those sounds that made up Jamesí mind. Slowly he walked over to the window and began to look out. He could not see who or where the sound was coming, but he could still hear it. It was out there just beckoning him to watch.
James leaned into the screen straining to see where the kids were playing. However, he could still not see them. He could still hear them. He leaned in harder into the screen. The wire mesh had begun to leave a checked pattern on his face, when the screen broke loose and fell to the ground.
Suddenly, James found himself falling and falling fast.
* * *
Pat had a rough couple of days. He was working on a video production for the church and had a serious amount of spiritual warfare to deal with including everything from technically difficulties all the way to family affairs taking up much needed time. Pat didnít mind the family affairs, because he loved his wife and three children and enjoyed every moment with them, but it did take away time. The only thing that had remained was to lose sleep to get everything done and that is exactly what he had done. However, it had all been worth it to see the look on everyoneís face as they received their copy of the video that Sunday afternoon.
Afterwards, Pat was in charge, as Vicky had to go to work at a local video store. The pay wasnít great, but the hours were flexible and the job easy. He didnít mind his wife working, but he did miss being able to spend time with her at night. However, Pat had lost his job and they were able to spend the days together. It wasnít quite the same, but it more then made up for the difference.
Since Pat was tired, he knew the best thing would be to have a video put on and sit with his children. All three of his kids loved to watch movies and the youngest, James, even liked watching the same ones over and over again. Pat had put on a video that James had recently liked and sat down on the couch. James walked over and put up his arms, which is the universal toddler signal for wanting to be picked up. Pat placed his son on his lap and began to watch the video.
A knock at the door startled Pat from an apparent sleep he had fallen into. Half asleep he barely noticed that James was not in his lap. However that was no unusual for James to be walking around. He had been the explorer type ever since Pat could remember and now that he walked he was even more so.
Katie opened the door to find our next-door neighbors daughter. She was half speaking and obviously startled and upset. The tone in her voice perked Pat up as she began to tell a tale about finding James outside. Immediately Pat discounted her story after all James was somewhere in the house just not in plain sight. It even crossed Patís mind for every a brief moment that it must have been some kind of joke although the neighborís daughter had never joked about something that serious and potentially grave before and it didnít seem to fit the situation.
Pat stood up and began to look for James as the reality of what was said sunk in. Then Pat noticed that his neighbor was also at the door and she was holding James. Patís heart dropped and the world stopped spinning as it all came rushing down on Patís senses. James did indeed fall out of the window and the fact that Patís neighbor was holding James was living proof.
Pat stood there in disbelief for what seemed like an eternity. His mind was racing through everything that could be wrong with Jamesí little body from a fall out a second story window. As Patís mind was racing, the neighborís daughter recounted her tale about finding James outside near a bush all by himself. How she grabbed him to hold and comfort him as a friend went for the daughters mother. Finally, Patís neighbor took James and they brought him to Patís apartment.
Pat took James and brought him into the living room and Abby, his other child, got Pat the phone. He called his wife and informed her that she needed to get home because James needed to be brought to the hospital. Of course, there was the ambulance option, but for some reason Pat thought it would be fast to have his wife come home with the only car they have.
As Pat held James, he began to do an exam not that he was a doctor, but looking for the obvious including feeling his bones. James didnít cry or scream out in pain. James just cuddled into his father. Pat took off Jamesí clothes and did a full scan looking for any red marks or bruises or blood or anything, but he found nothing. Finally, Pat called over his daughters and they did the one thing they could which was to pray that James would be all right.
Vicky charged in the door with a full head of steam. She didnít know the entire situation, but she knew enough to be upset. Immediately and almost as if it was instinct she picked up the phone and called a friend to watch both Katie and Abby while they took James to the hospital.
The car ride was solemn as Pat said several, ďIím sorryĒ both to Vicky and to James. Katie and Abby silently said prayers as they were doing their best to keep James awake. Vicky was not saying much of anything, but she was praying with all her heart that James be all right.
The ride to the hospital was short. Pat entered the hospital carrying James and immediately found the nurses station where you would check in. There was a line, but that didnít stop Pat, who was already carrying a world of guilt, walked past the line to sign James in. The nurse looked at Pat and then read the form immediately noticing that little James fell out of a second story window. Within a matter of seconds, there were nurses looking James over.
Soon a doctor entered the room and performed an exam. He assured Pat and Vicky that James would get the best of care; however since James could not tell us where it hurts, they would have to perform a series of x-rays. That was fine with Pat as he wanted every inch of James to be looked over and every problem found and treated.
A short time later, James was taken to have a CAT scan performed on his head. Pat carried him the whole way cuddling with his son thinking back on days when James would be full of life without a care in the world. At that moment, Pat would have gladly traded his life that James is at the very least treatable. They strapped James down because he would not understand that they needed him to not move.
Pat stayed in the room with a special apron on due to the radiation. James called out for his daddy over and over again. Pat stood there trying to soothe James, when he noticed that Jamesí foot was sticking out at the bottom. It was out of the way and not cause for any concern for Jamesí movement. So, Pat reached down and began to rub Jamesí foot while speaking to him. James looked up and softly said ďDa daĒ as he curled his little toes around Patís finger and a tear ran down Patís face. He could not shake the guilt, but he could be there and at that moment the two of them made a bond and connection that would never be broken.
After the CAT scan was complete, they brought James in for x-rays. As hard as the CAT scan was, the x-rays were even harder. The radiologist had to strap James down to a board while he screamed like someone had just shot him. Pat knew that the radiologist were doing their job and a function that Pat wanted them to complete to find all that would be wrong with James, but each and every time Jamesí screamed, Pat wanted to rip him out of the straps and valiantly fight for James saving him from the tortures of the hospital.
Once the exams were complete, all that was left was to wait for the results. At this point, Pat was running a million scenarios through his mind. Ones that concerned everything from a couple of broken bones to a prolonged hospital stay. He didnít know what was wrong, but he wanted to be prepared for whatever may come.
Although it had seemed like an eternity, about a half hour later the doctor returned to the room. Pat held his breath as he was bracing himself for whatever the results would be, and much to his surprise the doctor said that there was nothing wrong. The doctor explained that babies are resilient even though they had not seen one without any injuries at all. The doctor then gave us Jamesí discharge notes about what to watch for over the next day or so and to follow up, but Pat was still lost in the moment when he heard that James was all right. His prayers were heard and answered.
Pat and Vicky returned to the car praising God. Word could not express their joy over Jamesí condition although they tried stating over and over again, ďPraise you Lord!Ē
As Pat drove home, he was struck with a vision about James.
* * *
James was falling towards the ground. As he looked down at the grassy surface that his face would soon be falling into, a pair of hands appeared below him. There were not ordinary hands as they were much larger and had a single hole in palm. The hands came up and caught James as he fell. James reached over and touched the soft beautiful hands that were saving him. He traced over the hole that went completely through the hand and out the other side. He placed his fingers in one of the fingers on the right side hand and was amazed. Mostly he felt warm and safe as the hands gentle placed him on the ground where a neighborís daughter would come rushing over to hold him.
James didnít know exactly what happened, but he somehow knew it was something special and something great all at the same moment. He also knew that for whatever reason he was saved; he would always remember the hands that saved him and the man who owned the hands.