This past Thursday, December 16th, everything suddenly came to a screeching halt when I received devastating news from a close friend of mine: her 5 year old child has just been diagnosed with what appears to be stage IV cancer.
It felt like I had been punched in the stomach. My knees buckled, and the room spun around me. I simply couldn't believe it. How did this happen? More importantly, WHY was this happening? And to a child?!? It just seems so unfair. So senseless. So cruel. The doctors will attempt to remove the tumor next week, and then there will be chemo, radiation, and lots of healing to follow. The thought of this little guy having to endure all of what is soon to come is .....unbearable.
It is downright frightening that life can change so quickly. How did my friend and I go from talking about Christmas plans, our children's latest antics, even things as trivial as the weather---to cancer?
As a mother myself, it hits really close to home, especially because I also have a 5 year old, a mere three months difference in age from her child. This is truly a parent's worst nightmare. It is terrifying to think of one of my precious little ones suffering, so I cannot begin to imagine what my friend and her husband are going through right now as they watch their child battle this ugly illness, and at such a young age, too.
My heart is so heavy as I write this. I have no idea what to say to my friend. What words of comfort can I possibly offer? What can one say at a time like this?
All I can do is pray...and help to keep that flame of hope burning bright.
As I said in my post yesterday, there has been alot on my mind. I have been counting the "little" blessings all around me that are easy to take for granted. The small things have suddenly become all the more meaningful. I ask myself, "Do my children really know that I love them? Do they understand just how deeply I am grateful to have them, to be their mother? Have I held them enough? Have I left anything unsaid to those I love? Does my husband realize how much he means to me?".
Life is a fragile gift. We never know what will come around the next bend in the road. It is difficult not to allow the fear of the unknown to cloud the present.
I was tucking my daughter into bed tonight and I think she could sense that I was sad about something. She suddenly giggled and wrapped her arms around my neck then whispered, "I love you SO much! You're the best mommy in the whole world!".
Tears filled my eyes, and I hugged her a little tighter.