Night falls like a gentle hush. It’s canvas dark and bare soon illuminate with sprinkling of celestial lights. Beauty, in the eternal vastness that creeps up yet again.

I loathe nights.

I must wait for its end to bring about the dawn of new beginning. And yet each day, my patient waiting is left unrewarded. My prayers unanswered.

It wasn’t always this way. I remember bright lights, parties and nights out. Perhaps the unease began the night we brought Ryan home from the hospital.

He was so tiny, all 5 lbs 15 ozs of him. Even with my background in Early Childhood could not prepare me for the worry and fear that I had, putting him to bed. I wanted to be with him when he fell asleep and be the face he saw in the morning awakening. In between, I would watch over and protect him. With me, he would be safe.

Foolish? Perhaps. Unrealistic? Of course.

But we tried. He sleep right beside us, nestled in a cradle with the bedroom lights casting a bright glow. Monitor on, staticky because it was close to the receiver. Scott and I took turns watching his chest gently rise and fall. One night became another and a routine was set. Ryan didn’t like to sleep alone. He wanted his dad to lie beside him, twirling his hair as he drifted off to sleep. We assured ourselves, this time wouldn’t last forever.

And it didn’t.

But what if? What if I had never taken my eyes off him while he slept? Would he still be lost in the night?

I fear this most of all. Ryan, alone.

Night falls. My tears fall along with it.