Excerpt: When Angels Fly

June 15, 1990 – Friday

At around 1 AM, I woke up with a start.  The fire alarm was going off on 5D and a code red was being called overhead.  The code red was on 3D unit and it was an intentionally set fire.  I took Eli off his TPN as I knew we could not take the IV pump down the stairs when evacuating should we need to do so, and the nurses were doing the same with the other children on the unit.  We were all prepared to evacuate to the South and 5F unit (adolescent unit), and then to go down the stairs at the southernmost stairwell when at about 2:30 AM, it was announced that it was all clear.

I put Eli back to bed as he was so tired and he fell asleep before I even had his TPN running again.  Between the fire fighters, the EU police and staff, the fire was put out pretty fast and the area was secured, but much had to be done for safety.   I was not sure what had happened, but safety was important and so I was not upset for having to be up for an hour and half waiting.  I knew if danger was coming our way, we would have already been evacuated.

I was up again at 5 AM and Eli was up at his usual time, and I did all of his cares. At around 9 AM, Social Services came into Eli’s room and they said that Eli could have things worked out.  I was not holding my breath on that one, nor would I tell that to Eli if it was prevented yet again.  I called both my lawyer and Dr. Landon and they both stated they would do all they could so Eli could go home. We would see.

Henry called into Eli’s room three times this morning and I had to hang up on him each time. It got bad when Eli saw me upset and he knew his father was on the phone.  Eli told me, his mother, to just hang up on him.  At age five years he understood the meanness and sadness in the world, in a way that most five year olds would never know.  This was not the first time Eli had told me to hang up on his father, and I feared it would not be the last time, either.

At 3 PM, I went down the hall to do laundry while Henry was in a meeting with New England Critical Care to learn the IV Pump and I was told to leave the room.  No problem as I did not want to see nor hear Henry’s failures in all of this.  I was back in Eli’s room by 4:30 PM and only Eli was there. Julie, a nurse I chatted with on occasion from 5F, came by and asked me to go down to dinner with her. Henry looked at both of us and snickered.

This was the first time I had ever gone to have a meal in the cafeteria with any staff person, and I went as Henry still had one hour of his time left with Eli.  I was back by 8 PM and Henry had already left. I was sure though, that he went down to the cafeteria and took pictures of Julie and myself for whatever devious purpose he could think of.  Dr. Harmon, together with Dr. Landon’s blue team, stopped by Eli’s room as I was putting Eli to bed for the night.  He waited and then we quietly talked as Eli fell asleep.  I asked Dr. Harmon what chances both my boys had of literally surviving their father. Dr. Harmon said, “Not good at all. He is a sociopath.”  Then he left the room. This was not a comfort, but I had asked for this answer.

I felt horrible. I was selfish; I wanted my babies, my boys, so badly just to see them hurt so horribly. My selfishness in wanting children only gave them pain in every conceivable way.

Matt called later and we talked about all that had happened and what Dr. Harmon had to say. Matt was positive on the phone, and I did believe Matt would do what it takes to ensure the safety of my boys and myself.  Matt was my solid rock to lean on, and I loved him so much.



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