“To have children is to wear your heart on the outside.” I don’t think there is any saying more true than that one. Especially for me since my children are still young. Even though their little lives have brought them more ‘adventure’ than I would have liked, my children’s innocence and hearts are so beautiful they can take my breath away.
This trip to Boston has been different than last year’s stay for many reasons, but one difference that is very pronounced to me is my daughter’s behavior. We really have always been two peas in a pod. She and I complete each other in just ways the boys can’t. Last summer she was a bit younger and I would say more free. This summer she carries more anxiety and worry than I wish she did. Now, she has what I would call a natural worry; she’s afraid of tornados and black holes, but she is also extraneously afraid to be alone and away from me. Her separation anxiety I would say is more on the lines of appropriate with a 2-4 year old than a 6 year old. And I honestly don’t know what to do or if I should do anything. I mean if someone brought me a child and told me our story then told me their child was worried that something would happen to their parent, I would be like, “well, duh.” I am just bombarding her with my time, my kisses and my motherly wisdom (haha). But how do you reassure a child that you will always be there? I certainly am trying.
Recently a member of our HLH community who was a 10 year BMT survivor died from cancer, most likely attributed to his treatment. I don’t think I have to even say how unfair that is. But it is true, I have no get out of cancer free card to play just because I have already been through treatment. My previous health is what brought me through treatment the first time. How do you prepare for a second time? That would make her 13, the boys 15. Is that old enough? I’ve talked about this before Is 8 enough? But I have not found my answers. I have always set my goal to put flowers in her hair on her wedding day. Assuming that would make her in her 20 or 30’s, I have needed my mom way more in my 30’s and 40’s so how do you decide when it is ok to die? Thank goodness I don’t have to.
What I do say to her is that I will always be with you. Half of you is me- so you can’t get rid of me- ever. But she does not find that reassuring. We pray to God at night and she recently has started praying all on her own, “please keep Luke and Leia (our cats whom she misses terribly) safe and keep us healthy and safe. And please God help Mommy not hurt and get healthy so that we can go home on time. Thank you for all that you have done for us.” Goodness she threw in the, “mommy not hurt” last night and of course that started me crying. I try not to let my physical status show too much- obviously that is hard when you are curled up in pain. Does she understand that everything will be ok? Even if I am not here? I know some people cannot believe that I have faith in a ‘spirit in the sky.’ That I do believe in a bigger plan. That I do believe that His goodness and His plan will ultimately lead to my salvation and that one day I will be led to a place of complete and utter harmony. I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.I don’t understand how people do not believe this. Why else is life worth living? I could not stand thought that this. is. it. I am too precious, she is too precious, the world is too magnificent for that. But how do I translate that into, “it will be ok?” It took me over fourth years to even to begin to accept that, how can I make my kids quick learners?
How can I teach them that God is not a magical being that grants wishes or a Santa Claus that gives you what you want. Especially when I struggle with “thy word not my word?” That God is someone with whom you have a relationship with and like any relationship, there are rough spots. But unlike any relationship, His words and actions are all through love- especially when there is suffering in world?
What I hear at night is a little voice full of hope, unconditional love, but high expectations. It is a voice in a body that I love more than my own. A child that I would sacrifice everything and anything for. I know I have heard the response that is much like the one I give when God says, “it will be ok. ”