ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Picketwire - My own personal Purgatoire River journey

Updated on June 19, 2013
Source

Picketwire

Am I alive? Am I dead? I cannot tell. I do not see; I do not feel, at least physically I do not feel. My soul hurts more than any physical pain could ever hurt. My son is dead. My dear, little boy is dead. My world has ended.

How long has it been? Hours? Days? Weeks? Months? Maybe years? I cannot tell; time has no meaning in this place I now dwell. There is no reference to be able to determine how much time has passed. I exist, if you choose to call it that, in a vacuum. I cannot call it living, for I do not live. Do I breathe? I do not notice if I do. Each instant is an eternity; each moment is without end.

Am I in Hell? I know this cannot be Heaven; the truth I was taught regarding that would not lend itself to this existence. There are no pearly gates in evidence, no golden streets, no mansions. Again, I see nothing. If this is what it is like to be trapped in a hole, covered with the earth, unable to see or hear or breathe, then I am there. It must be Hell. But I see no demons; no Lucifer to taunt me for my loss. If I am dead, and this is Hell, where are they at? Could they be sitting somewhere nearby, watching, waiting, enjoying my pain? If they are, surely I am giving them much pleasure in my eternal damnation.

I remember my son; his laughter, his joy at hugs and kisses. I remember the pure joy I got from simply watching as he played, or ran, or rode his small bike. I remember the love his Mother and I shared with each other, and with him. The days of hurrying home after work to play with him; read with him; to enjoy his life and ours. His first step; his first day of school. But there will be no more firsts; he is no longer there to enjoy, to love, to hug. All that remain are memories.

It was a fever, nothing more. Slight at first; a light cough added after a day. Nothing else. But we were unable to break it, to make it leave. We could offer something to relieve it, but not to make it go away. After a few days of fever, he became listless, less able to respond to the pain medication we had at our fingertips. We took him to a doctor, a healer of children. Tests were taken, nothing determined. More tests while he faded more each day. We grew desperate, crying, sobbing. Each sunrise brought hope; each sunset saw only despair.

Then one morning, he smiled. One last smile at us. We cried and held him as his feverish little body drew in one final breath. Then let it out. No more were drawn in; no more heartbeats to feel; no more joy in our lives.

The reason was never found. Nothing to make sense of it all was forthcoming. We were left with nothing but memories to fill a life that was supposed to be filled making memories, not remembering the small sample we had been allowed. It was not supposed to be like this! We are not supposed to outlive our children! We are not supposed to be the ones left behind to deal with the pain of the loss of his life!

My wife became unresponsive. She cried every moment of every day. I could not relieve her pain, became unable to reach her. I could not care for her as I could not care for myself. We existed in a world that no longer existed. Our home was filled with him, yet he was no longer within it. Everywhere we looked, sat, walked, we saw him as a dream, a ghost, a nightmare relived every waking moment. We grew unable to speak to one another, or with others. Eventually, they stopped coming and we were left to ourselves, to deal with it as we were able. We were unable to deal with it.

Her family came and returned her to their home to better care for her. I could not reach her, nor could they reach me. My own family cared not, as they no longer were counted among the living. So I sat, alone, forevermore. One day, I awoke enough to take some stock of my situation. Gathering a few items, I made my way to my truck and left, driving to a location deep within the mountains, never planning on returning, nor being seen again.

I set up a camp in a valley surrounded by what some perceive as beauty, yet I could not see it. There is a river running through it once called the Purgatoire River, also known as the Picketwire. I simply sat around, lost in a memory, a waking nightmare. All that I had loved and lived for was gone. I had no direction, no impulse to accomplish anything. I slept.

I awoke, or did I? In the place I found myself, I am not even aware of any stimulus from without. It is as though I know I am alive, yet I do not live. It is as though I am in a well, but one of no substance. There are no walls, but walls are not needed as I do not move. I do not even know if I open my eyes. This is where I will be for eternity. Is this what it is like to lose your mind? Am I insane, yet aware? If so, I welcome death, for at least death will be something. As I am now, I am nothing, and I am nowhere.

I miss my son. I miss my wife. I miss my life. That is all I know.

God, help me. Please.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      5 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you Sir. It was a hard week, but all is well now. I appreciate your thoughts. Take care.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Mr Archer. Brilliant, so moving and heartfelt. You bring a tear to my eye.

      Voted up and all.

      Graham.

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      5 years ago from Missouri

      Many thanks, Gypsy. He is up and around and will be back to school on Monday. Thank you for the blessings, and may God bless you as well. Have a great weekend.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. That was an incredible and emotional journey. Hope your little guy Caleb is up and about real soon. He has the Lord on his side and I just know that soon he'll be well again. God bless you and your family. Keep the faith.

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      5 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you, Randy.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 

      5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Good wishes to your little boy, I certainly hope he is better soon. :)

      --RG

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      5 years ago from Missouri

      Randy, Thank you. Yes, there is desperation there for sure. This is not my usual self, but it was there, so I put pen to page (so to speak).

      Bill, Thank you as well. I fell asleep last night with this on my mind, perhaps that is why I had the nightmare. My little Caleb has missed school every day this week, suffering from this low grade fever. He does well during the day, as the medicine limits the fever. But in the late afternoon and evening when I make it home from work, he becomes a shell of himself, preferring to sit on or beside me, cuddling up for a bit before it is time for bed. He is doing better today, and hopes to return to school tomorrow. But last night, I simply could not get it off my mind. I remembered the name of the river, Purgatoire, also known as Picketwire, and thought that might be a good title for this work. Sometimes, it is not the best thing, this having a mind that won't shut off when I want it to.

      Thank you both, gentlemen. Having put this here to share, it helps with the worry for my son. When he gets better, I'll be better. God Bless.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Excellent work, Mike! This is so brutally sad; a perfect look at hope lost. It is almost beautiful in its portrayal of sadness. Exquisite piece of writing.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 

      5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Well written and conveys the emotions of loss, sorrow, and perhaps a sense of desperation.

      --RG

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)