Friday, September 13, 2013

an aching beauty

There is an aching beauty in the fall, as the season of summer closes and fall begins.  The sun shines in such a way that it makes you somehow feel like you are about to enter a new place.  A place of golden and orange, a place of warm colours because the air is cold and crisp.  It has an almost eerie silence to it, as the leaves dry and fall down, and the grass gives up its green, for brown.  The fields of corn that surround my house, are both like a blanket of coziness and a suffocating barricade.  Fall.  It leads to the thoughts of indoor winter days and worries of bad driving weather.   This winter I wont let myself be paralyzed by fear, sitting in one spot, going in circles-- motionlessly.  It leads me to feel such a deep sense of perfect beauty, somehow marred with sadness...sadness as things die and decay, and the fresh greens turn tired and succumb to yet another wintering over...only to start it all again next year.  Sure as sure enough, you know it will all die, rest, begin again.  Regardless as to what I do, or don't do, what I say, or don't say, what I see, or don't just will.  It's reassuring, and yet the thought of it, exhausts me.

I see the sky and it looks like a painting hanging on another painting.  The sun hits things in a slanted way, and the ache and pain washes in and off me and the air is holding my breath for me.

I enjoyed yesterday to it's maximum capacity. I saw the silver and gold linings.  I felt such satisfaction in such simplicity.  A baby tooth lost, a smile so broad, so proud, a moment so precious, it pierced.  I enjoyed the ugly in knowing there would be great beauty in the spring.  I see the hope and the new life that comes with this hope.  I felt things on a level that was profound, I hoped it would wash over me, but instead it penetrated deep into my heart, where I can hold these images, this face, these cheeks in a memory, only my heart can hold.  It was too perfect.

I hold onto that tooth, the tooth fairy tooth..I hold it and I cherish it like a mad woman.  I tell myself, 'he made it this far!! he got here, another milestone, he's alive, he's alive!!!' But. then my brain turns somber and I hide this baby tooth away, in a small box, a ring box, with the date, the name..I tell myself, what if he dies, what if this is the only thing one day I have left of him..physically.  Then I beat myself up for allowing the dark thoughts to take form.  Holding the little box, I hide it away, I tuck it away, like the dark dark sinister, hopeless thoughts that make me feel so unworthy, so un-Christian.  I close the lid, another lid, the drawer, the door. I walk away, knowing I have a small, sweet piece of my son.  I hide it away and pretend it's what any mother would do.  I hide it away, because no one wants to hang out with a woman with 5 kids and a mess of a mind.

It's fall, there is a sweet, sad, hopeful aching beauty, a dying of one season, with a rebirth that is guaranteed to show itself.  Now we just have to make it through and seize it.  But it wont be enough to just make it through, because that's time wasted, and we know how precious days and moments on.  Press on and embrace the glory of the sun, the crunchy leaves, the fallen corn stalks, and the hope of the coming season.  Each season has it's place, it's purpose, and to find the lovely in each one is my mission, my only hope.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September is EVERYwhere.

It's September.  It's back to (home)school.  It's back to cool night and crisp mornings.  It's back to childhood cancer awareness month.  I am seeing gold everywhere, and I love it, and I ...hate it.  It's hard to not going around in my brain it sounds like this:
"wonder how Matteo is doing, must wash the apples, wonder if Abby is okay, why is the baby crying..dear Lord, let Nicco be alright, time to switch the laundry, thank God Cameron is done, hope Luke is not going to relapse, lunch time now? What about Sam, is he doing okay..."
And it goes on and on.  I check in on these children constantly, because that's where my heart is at.  I care. I think of the children fighting since they were born, those finishing, and dealing with anxieties, those beginning, those in the middle, those re-starting...those who have passed...I think a lot, all day, about these kids.  About my kid. About CANCER.   I think that September, and the awareness month is brilliant.  Hopefully people will realize how little funding kids cancers receive.  Hopefully people will make a change.  Donate, spread awareness, help fund research, help cure these kids, without the constant torture they are made to endure.

It's hard to keep telling my child, nearly two years into, no dear, not done yet.  He will be as many years on treatment as he had lived off treatment, when he's done.  It's ludicrous.  Yet, it's hopeful.  I try and  remember always that we are lucky, he has a great chance of a great life.  I know we are lucky. So lucky.  Yet, some how it seems like someone missed the mark on it being easy.

I am embracing the fall harvest season, planning for a good and healthy winter, with frozen foods from our garden.  I am planning on a winter and a fall, and a spring. I wouldn't let myself think that far ahead before, but I am planning on a good year.  I don't see anything the way I once did.  I don't see it simple, or mundane.  I see it all as privileges.  Borrowed time. I see it all as brand new.  I see it all as small miracles....

My boy is now in Grade one.  He is not complaining.  He is eager to learn, to sit, to try.  He is eager to be a big boy, to know how to read.  He is eager, and I am thankful.  He sheds a new light on all our lives here at home.  We begin school, knowing..we have two days before chemos and steroids.  We begin fresh and know we do our best, on the days that we can, because some days, we wont be able to do this..those days, we just try and get by.  We look back as we post pictures, pictures to remind us, and others of what a cancer kid looks like.  They look like every parent's worst nightmare, they look afraid, tired, sick, frail, steroid puffy, they look weak, they look angry.  A lot of the photos also show Luke happy. Happy enough to give the camera a smile.  Happy enough, because there is no choice.  I do feel that the profound sadness and stress experienced through this life threatening illness, is not all bad.  It has lead our family closer together, it has strengthened our faith, even when we could not attend church. It has shown us that people can not save us, no one can save us, but God himself.  It has made us humbled, it has reduced us to nothing but whispered prayers, and hope.  From the ashes, we will rise, and hopefully we will be able to help and love others in similar situations.

I talk to Luke, those tender talks at night, when he should be asleep.  He talks about such wise things.  He talks of heaven. He prays diligently for others. His voice, and his words touch me deeply, and I hold onto these quiet moments as treasures that can not be contained in any place, but my heart, and head. I am very very pleased with my son.  He has endured more than any child should, or could, and he has issues, yet, he is a beautiful soul.  I see September. I see gold. I see pictures and post of children, sick and some healed.  I see families going through horrible times. I see smiles, and hope, I see a lot of people acknowledging the battles these warriors face, and honouring them. I see Luke, and I see a future that is bright!
Tomorrow we are back again, at the hospital for IV chemo, then his 2 oral chemos tomorrow night, then his steroids and tummy meds for steroids.  It will be yet another day, where I will feel deeply saddened, yet deeply thankful that 'it's only this.'  Please continue to pray for Luke and our family, as the constant meds are taking a toll.  Steroid pulses are difficult on Luke and his siblings.