I posted this as a note on my Facebook page awhile ago. Recently, I've been trying to do more blogging, so I decided to post it here, as well. These pieces of thought will become a part of the book I'm writing this summer.
While cleaning today, I came across a little journal I used to keep in my purse when Nathan was sick. It has several pages in it that have my scribblings as things would come to me. Some of them are quotes that I used to read over and over for strength. Others are short observations I'd make. I thought I'd type those here - they seem to give one a sense of how that year formed the philosophies I live by today. Take from them what you wish.
The first one was written as I sat in the pediatric oncology wing at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita. The wing was originally built as birthing suites, then was converted to oncology when a new birthing wing was built.
This room, these rooms, once where infants breathed their first breath, have become where children breathe their last.
Once a place of great joy, now one with a potential for profound sadness, yet also a possibility of grand triumph.
Nathan's life has become so unreal, the fact that his is a rare form of cancer doesn't seem so odd.
This one was written while waiting in the doctor's office for a scheduled chemotherapy treatment.
Parents in Dr. Rosen's office -
There is a "look" parent of kids with cancer give each other. "I know", it says, "me too."
There is a look I find myself giving parents of healthy kids, "LIVE, LOVE! It's precious!" mine says.
Another entry from a hospital room . . .
Sitting in this hospital room, losing days of my own life, to sit awake at night listening to his little body shake with coughs, each breath a chore. My whimpering child, who I can do absolutely nothing for . . .
I gave this one a title - "Baby Steps"
Learning to line dance, the dance looks complicated at first. "I'll never be able to do that".
Start learning it just a few steps at a time. Gradually adding more difficult things. Repetition causes it to become easier. Add another step. Another.
After awhile, you are doing the entire dance and smiling at the thought that you ever considered it difficult.
Nathan was diagnosed with cancer. Piece by repetitious piece has been added. I don't know how many more pieces there are to this dance. I've never seen it in its entirety. It is unique to my son, but I know that God keeps showing me steps, over and over, until it becomes easy.
Some of you have heard me say the way I got through that year was because God gave me strength for the day each morning. Here is an entry that probably was the first time I ever thought of it that way.
Seems like I get just a little less "leeway" in strength. It's like each morning, God gives me just how much He thinks I need - no more, no less. I've been praying for him to give me just a little "cushion."
This is the last entry in the little book. I guess I must have felt victorious.
What is my worst fear? I have to come up with a new one, because I've had to face mine.
(Since I had been a girl in elementary school and read a book by Erma Bombeck "I want to grow up, I want to grow hair, I want to go to Boise", I had known my worst fear was to have a child with cancer. I still haven't gotten a new one).