Sunday, January 11, 2009

"When it is dark enough,you can see the stars"~Ralph Waldo Emerson

It seems as if we have been in a constant, ever changing reality over the last 2 years.Some realities have been easier to swallow and digest than others.Without a doubt this latest chapter, known as "after diagnosis", has certainly been the most difficult.On October 29th of this past year, Zoey was officially diagnosed with leukemia.That day is etched vividly in my mind and on my heart.And tonight the recalling of that day and the reality of what we were stepping into came crashing,full force,without warning .... straight through my heart.On that day in October,as we waited for Zoey's doctor to come in and give us the results of the bone marrow biopsy,I stood in the door way of the 5th floor clinic room and gazed out at the people milling about.I watched little faces pass me by.Some with wide toothy grins and others hidden behind masks, far too big for those little faces.Parents pushed strollers.Parents pushed IV polls.Parents carried children and siblings trailed obediently behind.One little girl caught my eye.She was dressed in a darling cheerleader outfit and I believe she was carrying a McDonalds Happy Meal box.She skipped behind her daddy and coming behind them, was mom with a tiny little guy dressed in a black Halloween outfit.This little tow head baby boy, who looked to be maybe one,was tucked snuggly and safely in his mommas arms.So cute he was.I lingered in the doorway anxiously awaiting Zoey's doctor and unable to stand still much longer, I wandered into the hallway.As I entered the hallway and turned left,the door right next to us was open and there was that darling family.I stopped,the little girl waved and the mom commented that her daughter doesn't often respond to strangers, so I should consider myself lucky.I did then and I absolutely do tonight.For on that day, in that moment, I met Gracie and her mom Laura and dad John and most especially her baby brother Luke.Our conversation was brief but I found out in the few moments we had to chat, that Luke had neuroblastoma and he was fighting like crazy to beat this nasty thing that had invaded his tiny,tiny body.Their doctor came in, we said our quick goodbyes,only to meet back up a short time later on the 4th floor.I watched Luke circle the the floors of 4e and 4w with his mom and grandmother.I watched as Gracie came for visits and dad came to relieve mom.I watched a family fight for a baby that they love with all their heart and soul.Tonight I learned the unfathomable.Luke's cancer has returned with a vengeance and now comes a time to make a lifetime of memories, in what won't come close to being enough time .Ever.I love this tiny warrior.I have always had the overpowering desire to grab him from his mother's arms and hold his little body and rub is little back.I have never been so bold.I wish I had.There is just something about him.Tonight I am sad.Sad beyond words for this family.Sad for our new reality that holds the ever present and very real possibility of replaying this very scenario over and over.And in some moments, I must go to a place,ever so briefly,ever so selfishly and wonder ... will it,could it,be us one day.These fleeting thoughts are what force us to live fully in our moments.Our precious,irreplaceable,here and now moments.And somehow,despite the deep sadness,I emerge changed for the better.Changed because of the courage of ones far younger than I and far stronger than I could ever be.Please keep Luke and all who love him deep in your prayers.It truly is all we can do.

9 comments:

Victoria Strong said...

I know this feeling you eloquently wrote about Heather. I know this all too well. And each time I learn of a new child diagnosed with SMA, each time one more innocent child dies from it, I cry and feel my heart break just a little bit more. Of course, SMA speaks loudly to me because with each child's passing, I know that I will be in their parents heartbreaking shoes all too soon. No child should have to suffer and yet so many do. I will never make sense of it and it will never stop feeling unfair because the world is a much better place with children laughing in it. Thank you for your thoughtful writing. Luke will be added to the group of beautiful children in my prayers.

Kele said...

Most certainly praying Heather.

About all of this said...

Dear Heather, I wish you and Zoey luck for the upcoming days...and peace, and strenghth and all the good things. You are always on my mind, and I hope to read good things from you. Leaving a candle on,

hugs
Claudia

Judy said...

Thank you for sharing this, Heather. This family (and of course yours) will be in my prayers. Luke sounds like such an amazing little guy....Sending hugs and prayers your way....

The VW's said...

Prayer. It truly is all that we can do. I just want you to know that I will be praying for you often and that your little girl and your 'story' has really touched my heart!

I'm so sorry that you are having to face this trial. I pray that you know that you and your daughter's life hold a great purpose and God has great plans for you! God Bless You!

Hugs from Michigan,

Alicia and Gavin

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

It's a hard reality to live in... I know. When I think of all the little lives... all the precious children... all the mothers left with one less son or daughter... my heart hurts so so badly. I know our Father has His reasons... and it will be one of the first questions I'll ask Him when the time comes. My life has been forever changed with Kennedy's cancer diagnosis... Cancer sucks.

Jeanette said...

Praying, praying, praying!

Cheri said...

I just cannot imagine the heartache...Luke and his family will be in my prayers! And....Victoria, if you read this your sweet Gwendolyn is in my prayers as well!

And Zoey...you too are covered in prayer as you begin round three. You are so loved.

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

Luke and Zoey are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your moments with Luke. He sounds so precious. You write gracefully and with such love and spirit. Thank you.