It’s been a crazy few past weeks. I’m not really even sure where to begin. So, here’s the short version. My mom, who I love more than I can say, has colon and liver cancer. She’s spent the last week and a half at the Mayo Clinic thanks to my Aunt having a good friend who is a doctor there. She flew home yesterday, will start chemo on Friday and basically, that’s it. She’s going to be just fine. Her doctor said she is not a ticking time bomb and that everything is treatable with the chemo. She’s going to be okay… I feel like I keep having to say it over and over again to believe it. God has been…amazing, incredible, merciful, wonderful through all of this. My mom has been amazing as well. Her life verse is Psalm 139:16 and boy has she been living it. Her faith and courage have been shining through out all of this, for the entire world to see. I”m so proud of my mom!
Last Fall, if you remember, Finnigan broke his leg and we spent a few days in Hershey. Well, I was listening to the radio yesterday and they had an oncologist from Penn State Hershey as their guest. It reminded me of something I wanted to share.
Because the pediatric ward was really packed when Finnigan broke his leg, he was put in the pediatric cancer wing of the children’s hospital. One night when he was finally sleeping comfortably, I got up and walked up and down his hall. I remember seeing onc. or hema. under each and every name in that hallway…except for Finnigan’s. I stopped outside his door and just began to sob. It really put our situation into perspective. In just a couple of days our baby would get to go home. His leg would heal in a matter of weeks and he would go about his life as if nothing ever happened. I wondered how many parents walked out of the 7th floor elevator wondering if their babies would ever get to go home. I wondered how many parents walked the floors of the cancer wing knowing their babies would never leave the 7th floor alive.
The next day I got in the elevator to go down to the cafeteria and ended up sharing the elevator with a gentleman. It’s funny, even only being there for a few days, you can pick out a parent of a hospitalized child, they just look a little worn around the edges, constantly tired. I was feeling it that day, but this parent, he was all smiles and so polite. He asked me who I was there for, I explained that we were there for my son and how Finn had broke his leg. He was very sweet and said he’d pray for us and hoped that Finn was on the mend soon. I asked him who he was there for, he said his son, he was a teenage boy who was battling cancer for the second time in his life. He told me how his son had such a deep faith in God. How he was so positive through it all. From the gist of our conversation, I gathered that his son would not be leaving the 7th floor and that his time here was ending soon. When he talked of his son’s faith, he never mentioned the healing of his son, or his son’s faith that he would be healed. Yet, through our few minutes of shared conversation he never stopped smiling, he was so positive and kind. His faith was just as strong as his son’s apparently. What do you say to someone who is watching their child die before their very eyes. Saying, “I’ll pray for you.” somehow doesn’t seem to be enough.
This spring, Elizabeth and I were at the dollar store buying balloons for the boys when we struck up a conversation with another lady who was buying balloons. Apparently she and a bunch of other folks were going to put balloons on a young man’s grave who had recently passed away this winter from cancer. It was his birthday. After talking for a few more minutes, we put the pieces together…it was the boy who’s father I had shared the elevator with. He was a local boy, he went to the same school system Elizabeth did. She even remembered a fund raiser at school for his benefit.
Small world indeed. It brought back to mind the conversation I had with his father, how even though his son was dying, he was smiling and encouraging a mom who’s son had a broken leg, who’s son would live. He said he’d pray for us. I wondered, and I still wonder now. Would I have that kind of faith? That kind of courage? Would I Lord? If my child was dying of cancer, would I love you enough Lord, to praise you even in the midst of my heartache? And his son, who was so full of faith, even in the end. I know someday, I will get to meet this incredible young man, I want to hug him, and thank him for his courage and his faith because I know he touched at least one life with it.
My goodness. Yep, that’s about all my sloggy brain will allow at the moment. Just, my goodness.
I am sitting in the dark, two boys in bed, the husband tinkering in the basement and I find myself engulfed by the enormity of “little things”. Little things are what take up most, if not all of my time each day. Diaper changes, laundry, trying desperately to keep the house clean, going to the gym, weeding the garden, building the chicken coop, making time for the kids, making time for the hubby and I, making time for me. In the end, it all adds up to me sitting in a stupor come nine thirty at night.
I love my little things, this isn’t a post to complain about them, or anything of that sort. I am just sitting here thinking about all of the little things that nibble away at my daily allotted twenty four hours. I am thinking of the little things that I did, the little things I was supposed to do, but didn’t, the little things I wanted to do, but didn’t find the time, the little things that got shoved to tomorrow’s list, the little things that I gave up on as frivolous or unnecessary.
It has been a whirl wind couple of weeks. I took the boys up to NY to visit my parents for a few days while Elizabeth spent some time with her Dad. I came home, and four days later packed the car and went back up with the hubby in tow for a long anniversary weekend (5 years!). We came back a day early. It was around quarter after five, Sunday evening, when I realized, “Hmm, this isn’t working.” and we packed two very tired, cranky, sleep deprived, tired of visiting and traveling little boys up and drove home. We were in the van and on the road by 5:45 if that gives you a clue as to how ready to be home in our own beds we were. I love my parents dearly, and I really enjoy our little weekends with them, but I think it was just too much for all of us right on the heels of a visit four days prior. The batteries were not fully charged so to speak. Elizabeth is spending another week with her Dad and so I am hoping for both of them that she is not suffering the same fate.
We arrived home late, slept soundly in our beds, woke late and had a nice leisurely breakfast together. After some rolling around on the carpet, I put Seannan down for his nap and sent Daddy and Finnigan off for the lawn tractor. We spent the morning working outside in the garden and on the chicken coop. Oh it’s coming along beautifully. I can’t wait to share it with you. We had lunch, then went to town to pick up a few last pieces of hardware and came home. I tucked two incredibly tired boys into bed and headed back out to work on the chicken coop again, where I fell asleep where I was standing, while holding a board in place as the hubby marked it for cutting. I heard someone crying on the baby monitor and realized it was the older rather than the younger and it had only been an hour since I put them down. I came in to find a distressed Finnigan, his skin was hot to the touch, but he didn’t have a drop of sweat on him. He was incredibly irritable and lethargic. After waiting a good ten minutes I took his temperature, 102. After some hemming and hawwing between the hubby and I, I ended up taking him to the ER. He’s had a nasty cough for going on 5 weeks now and I wondered if perhaps he had pneumonia, or worse, heat stroke from working out in the sun all morning. Neither. There was much discussion between the doctor and I about could it be this or maybe it’s that or perhaps it’s because of this and it all amounts to a very tired, slightly dehydrated and run down little boy who was just plain pooped. So home we went, Daddy made us a bowl of Oodles of Noodles and Mama ran to the store for juice boxes. A real treat as normally it’s water or milk for us. I got three juice boxes into him before bed.
Here’s hoping he’s got a bit more wiggle in his jello tomorrow. Here’s hoping to a quiet day at home, doing little things, quiet little things. Here’s hoping to a finished chicken coop before my birthday next week.