Jules is home earlier than expected and we were later on the road than planned. We arrived just before 1:00a and I was unloading the van of all his equipment with the front door wide opened when SWEET GARY showed up!!! "Ali!" he yelped. "What are you doing here?" I said in surprise. "Aren't you going to church in the morning?" "Yes, but I thought you'd be hungry and I made some chicken soup." What did I do to deserve this friendship? Gary asks nothing in return. While I tended to Jules, he took Lilac out for potty. By 3:00am all was settled. Gary had gone home with my girl-party-dairy free-caramel-popcorn-balls from the previous night, to share at the church hospitality table and I was tucking myself into bed.
Then some time in the early morning in the middle of a dream I heard a repeating sound, "Amy?.... Amy?.... Amy?..." I woke enough to know the sun was up. "Amy?... Amy?.... Amy?" I rolled over and thought the sound stopped. I decided it was part of my dream. Then it continued. It sounded like the voice of a young child searching for someone, but my daughter wasn't home. Maybe the girl next door was playing in the back yard. Maybe she was looking for a stuffy or baby-doll. But why would she be out there so early? And she's older now. Would she still have baby-dolls? What time is it? "Amy?...Amy?.... Amy?...." Then, I realized, it wasn't coming from outside the window over my bed. The sound was inside the house. It was steady and persistent. "Did my daughter come home while I was sleeping? Is she dreaming? (She talks in her sleep.) No. She wasn't here. And it was so patterned, like breathing. I realized it was resonating through the speaker on the monitor from Julius' room.
Was Julius calling me? Julius is non-verbal. There is one word he used to say before he got is trach a few years ago. It was "Em", his word for MOM and I haven't heard it in a long time. This was different tho. I was finally fully awake. The house was cool so I slipped into my robe. I went down the hall towards his room. The sound was louder as I approached his door. "Amy?.... Amy?.... Amy?..." I opened the door and naturally checked his sats. 98% oxygen saturation. Good.
He was asleep. The sound was coming from his opened mouth or his trach or both. I was still too sleepy to decipher. I adjusted his head. I moisturized his trach with saline drops and suctioned him with a catheter. The sound stopped and I was a little sad. Lilac shuffled and I went back to bed.