I'm looking at you, and your my same baby boy.
only...your not a baby anymore.
Your eyes, your eyes tell a story, story of the eyes that have seen more than any five year old should .
Eyes red rimmed, eyes blackened, eyes afraid, eyes sick, eyes swollen, keep your eyes on me, my boy, and I'll keep them focused for you.
Your lips, your lips that took only the best foods, your mama's milk, lips that swelled beyond recognition, lips lined with mouth sores, lips that voice words you would never use, were you not drug induced, lips that open up each night so trusting, to take your chemotherapy, your many many drugs. My heart sinks each time you ingest these poisons that save your life, as we administer these drugs, our worlds hold still for a moment, and all our fears creep in...and we carry on with praise for you and your bravery.
Oh those legs, those boyish legs that have lost their chubby youth...those legs that threaten to bruise and cause you pain to walk. I kiss those legs, and their ouchy spots, I rub those legs when you can't move them, I lift those legs for you when you can't. They will grow long, and lean...to walk..to walk away from from cancer, from pain, from this childhood full of obstacles and illness.
I stroke that hair. That curly, sweaty, unruly hair chased away by chemos, and yet coming back with a vengeance to show us who's boss. Hair that fell out in the wind, falling like hope and tears. I kiss your hair as you sleep...remember your bald, white, sick little head. I kiss you and hold onto all the optimism of a bright future for you.
I rub that tummy, swollen with enlarged spleen and liver. I rub that tummy as it aches from the gorging during monthly steroids, as it has a terrible time for years with aches and cramps daily. I keep a watchful eye on your tummy, for spots, for petecia, for every freckle threatens to be something less innocent..
My God, my God, your hands, your beautiful hands and arms. Ravished, poked, taped up, splinted, thousands of times over, with no choice in the matter. the hands with dimples should know no pain, no IV's no bandaids, no cancer.
Your chest, heart racing..medications for high blood pressure at the age of four, it's criminal. Scars up one side and down the other. Port a caths, foreign tubes and metal in my boy's chest, his heart, his neck.
Oh the back, bruised and poked, injected 27 times over with chemos that run to the brain, a back so tender and I want to take him and run with each spinal tap..but we pursue. What choice is there?
And I look, and I pray, and I hold and I hold in my silent scream, like all the other mothers who are doing this too.
Everyone knows all we can be is thankful, and I am, but ..
my boy, my boy did not need this.
I cry out to Mary, "Mary, Mary, your son--he suffered so much. Where does a mother shelf her grief--this house is too full for this sorrow, we can not contain it here."
I lie my head down, listen to his heartbeat, smell his sweet hair, and God fills my empty spaces with hope. A hope I can't quite reach, but I think if I just let it wash in, and be patient, it will come, and the big holes will be filled in.
Healing my boy, and healing the broken mother's heart.
A boy needs lots of care, a body is fragile, so I succumb to the situation, and rock my boy, his body in my arms. I let HIM hold us both, and we release the pain and trade it in for a hope so essential, it can heal all these wounds.