Sunday, November 18, 2012

Everything Is Different

Imagine waking up one day...and your whole world is different.

Oh, your family is still there and your house is still the same. Your cars are in the driveway and the laundry is still piled up. There are still bills to pay and dishes to do and children to feed...but everything...everything is different.

This happened to a friend of mine, Jackie, shortly before Halloween. It is her story to tell (which you can read here), but the "rip it off quick like a band-aid" version is this: her two year old son, Grayson, has a mostly inoperable tumor in his brain stem. Her new vocabulary has expanded in the last few weeks to include words that no mother should ever have to say, in conjunction with their child's name.

Pediatric neurosurgeon. Biopsy. Oncologist. Chemotherapy.
Malignant tumor. Benign tumor. Brain surgery. Radiation. Brain scan.

I don't want to imagine what she's going through. I don't want to think about the fear and sleepless nights and the gnawing need to wrap my child in my arms,  in an effort to protect them from a cruel world. There is no hug strong enough that can keep away a cruel world that is inside of them.

As parents, it is our jobs to keep our children safe. We buckle them up in the car, to protect them in the case of an accident. We put helmets on them, to protect their noggin from an inevitable spill off their bike. We spend summer after summer at swimming lessons, to protect them from drowning. We invest hundreds of dollars on baby gates, drawer and cupboard latches, electrical socket covers, window locks and doorknob covers, to protect them from sharp knives, tumbling down the stairs, cleaning products and my furniture from Sharpie markers. We diligently take them to every well-baby check up and have them immunized, to protect them from contracting a rare disease.

But, how do we protect them from themselves? How do we protect them their own bodies? How can we, as parents, make it better, if we never saw it coming in the first place?

I said that I don't want to imagine what she's going through, not that I can't imagine what she's going through. I can imagine. I have imagined. Often.

Josh has a little brother, Jared. He was born one year, six months and fourteen days after Josh and they had the typical brotherly type relationship. They horsed around, they fought, they drove Mom crazy...but they loved one another. One day, when Jared was 7 years old, Mom's world was different. Oh, her family was still there (Josh and Jared had been joined by two more brothers and a sister by then)  and her house was still the same. Her cars were in the driveway and the laundry was still piled up. There were still bills to pay and dishes to do and children to feed...but everything...everything was different.

Jared had a tumor and was diagnosed with cancer.

Those who know our family, know how that storyline ends.

Ever since the moment that I discovered that I was going to be a mother, nearly twelve years ago, I have had moments of panic. Moments where my thoughts overcome me and race through my head, untamed.

I was blessed with five healthy children at birth, but...what if? What if next year, next month, tomorrow, my world is different?It happened to could happen to me, too. What if I never see it coming? What if one day I'm making dinner, rocking out to Pink playing on the radio, while the kids race through the house...and the next day I'm uttering words like Biopsy. Oncologist. Chemotherapy. What if my whole world is different and I have to find out how truly strong I am? my world is not different. My family is here and my house is the same. My cars are in the driveway and the laundry is piled up. There are bills to pay and dishes to do and children to feed. The only scary words I utter are "Don't make me come down there!" and "If you do not clean this room, you are going to regret it!" I'm strong, not because I am holding down a world that is spinning out of control, but because I am a Mother. We are all a unique breed of Superhero that possess a ferocious love for our children, more powerful than anything the world can throw at us. 

So, today, while my world is not different, I'm sending all my strength and love and hope and magical fairy dust to the Savery family. May they know how often they are thought of and prayed for. May they grasp how many people love and care for them. May they be blessed with the comfort and peace they need, to make the amazingly difficult decisions they are faced with. May they know that Grayson has made me hug my kids tighter and love them harder, these last few weeks. May Jackie know that her strength and grace have not gone unnoticed, even in her moments of despair. May she wake up tomorrow and know that while her world is different...her baby boy has changed MY world.

1 comment:

Candygirlflies said...

Beautiful post, my friend.

Know that they are in my prayers also.

xoxo CGF