It's like being on the open ocean upon the deck of a beautiful white yacht. You turn your face up towards the sun and it's warmth bathes your body and melts away the everyday worries which sometimes consume your mind all to readily. Trivialities are ignored and easily fade into the background. This newborn bundle in your arms is so full of promise. This thing, this one thing is what you've done right. When you hold that hope for the first time nothing else in this whole wide world matters. Everything for that one beautiful moment is still. That choppy ocean you've been travelling - the ups and downs of everyday life - is forgotten. The waves are silent, the birds are quiet, the wind is a gentle breeze on your face and everything is peaceful.
When I feel the sun on my face slowly being overshadowed by a squall that has taken up residence directly over head, I am alarmed but not panicked. I glance back at Scott, his hands are holding my other two children's when suddenly our yacht lurches and throws us off our feet. I clutch wildly to this new life in my arms and I stretch out my hand to grasp my husbands, but I can't quite reach him. He wildly glances at our other babies, "I've got them", he mouths. And I know I have no other choice. I cannot be their mother right now, I have to be Preston's. When the clouds thicken overhead, threatening to spill their contents over me like a shower of doom, I desperately search for the sun, for the light to lead my way out.
It's pitch black when your worst fear takes up residence beside you. There are people all around me, rescuers throwing buoys to me, begging me to grab hold so they can pull me to shore. But I can't find them in the dark. I stumble and fall over obstacles that shouldn't be there and my fear is only overshadowed by my anger. I force myself to take a deep breath. It's shaky, and cold, but I force myself to draw another. There seems to be no hope here, no hope in this darkness that looms overhead. I feel so utterly, and hopelessly alone. In my desperate pleas to understand this new heading my yacht is on I stumble upon a card game I never realized was being played. "I don't gamble", I state and I hear the dealers ragged breath rattle out of him like a poisonous snake hiding in the grass, "life's a gamble" he whispers in my ear.
In our desperate attempt to clutch one another in this unpredictable thing called life, the human condition ensures that when the chips are down and the cards are dealt you play for yourself. The other people at your table are beside you, but they can't play for you...no matter how much you wish they could.
I glance down at my shaking hands, I still have him in my arms, he's still clutching to me baby fresh, and wonderfully oblivious to the cards he holds...jokers smiling cruelly up at him. I force myself to look at my own cards...can I beat the dealer, this man in the black cloak, this man with no face. My yacht crests upon a wave. His movements are slow and deliberate but he lays his cards down, one after another and it seems I could beat him. The clouds break overhead and I can see the sun once more. The cloaked man still holds a card close to his vest and soon I will get to see what it is. But for now I turn my face upwards and let the sun melt away the worries of everyday life, and in one smooth motion Preston turns his face upwards too and we will away the dark together.