Luca
Mysterious Ways|December/January 2021
It was a sunny October day. My husband, Anthony, and I sat with our three kids—Ella, seven; Luca, five; and Zoe, two—as they drew with sidewalk chalk in the driveway. The whole family was enjoying the last bit of nice weather before the winter. Everything felt warm and peaceful.
Katherine Suliveras

“Look, Mama! I’m drawing Mario!” said Luca, scribbling with red chalk.

Of course. Luca was obsessed with the Nintendo video game character. “Very cool,” I said.

Luca clutched the red chalk in his little hand. “Red is a nice, hot color,” he went on. “Fire is red. Mama, do you remember when I was in the hospital and I was on fire?”

I froze. Goosebumps rose on my arms. Anthony and I caught eyes, and I could tell both of us were wondering the same thing: How could he possibly know?

All the memories from that traumatic time, the ones I tried to forget, came flooding back. Luca was born on September 20, 2007—a perfectly healthy 10-pound baby. But three weeks later, he woke up in the middle of the night, screaming in pain, with a fever that wouldn’t go away. We rushed to the hospital. They gave him medicine and hurried to hook him up to a bunch of wires and machines. The doctor said Luca needed to stay for a while so they could run some tests and find a diagnosis.

The next couple days were a blur. Anthony and I set up camp in Luca’s hospital room. My mother drove up to watch Ella. Luca’s fever wouldn’t go down. No one could figure out what was wrong.

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