Three years ago I woke up in the morning and had one of those experiences that has stayed with me to this day. It was incredibly brief but at the same time very private.
Moments like that I hold so dear, but I also tend to keep them close to my chest. But this was different. This was a moment I wanted to share … and it was the moment I first thought of starting this blog.
After it happened I went straight to the computer, typed up what follows and sent it to some family and friends. I’m posting it here exactly as it was written then. As the years went by and I played with the idea of a blog, it was always what I thought my first post would be. And while it is in fact my ‘second’ and not my ‘first’, for me it is where the idea began to really take shape. And let’s be honest, very few things in this life ever quite go as planned. So be it first or be it second … here is where it all began for me.
True Story – June 21st 2006
- After a worldwind night including bloodtests, transfusions, ambulance rides and countless nurses and doctors, we first hear the confirmation that our son Mark has cancer. Four days later his specific cytogenetics will come back from the lab and we will learn the immeasurable weight that his particular rare high risk diagnosis really means and how much the numbers are not on his side. Our life has forever been changed – and I have little hope to hang on to. There will be high risk protocols, unfathomable amounts of chemotherapy for 3 1/2 years, seemingly unending painful procedures and the words ‘severe’ and ‘rare’ more times than I can count.
True Story – June 21st 2011
- Five years later. It’s 6:15 a.m. and I sneak into Mark’s room. (Mark is a sleeper – this will not wake my son – of this I am sure) I crawl into his bed and I marvel at how big he is. How truly long his legs and arms are. I marvel at how much we have overcome. As I crawl under his covers he rolls over and puts his arm around me and keeps breathing in that deep way kids do when they sleep.
- Now to understand the rest of the story you’d have to know that I whisper “thank you” to the universe like ALL the time. I’ll be walking down the stairs and I’ll pause, close my eyes and whisper “thank you”. It’s not particularly a prayer, or at huge moments or anything. Sometimes I do it when I’m stopped a red light, or in my chair at work, or in the morning, or before bed – whenever. I just pause, close my eyes and whisper thank you.
- This morning as Mark’s arms were around me – on this anniversary day that is usually so difficult for me – I whispered in the smallest of voices – free of tears, or weight or gravity – “thank you”. And in the smallest of voices my beautiful son very simply whispered “Your Welcome”, and continued that deep breathing.