Thursday, March 25, 2010
A Worthy Journey
There is a couple I know here in Mesa whose little boy was born in June 2008. He was diagnosed with one of the rarest forms of Leukemia ever diagnosed in a baby of his age when he was around 3 mos old. It is aggressive and unrelenting. He has had two bone marrow transplants, numerous transfusions of donor blood cells, etc, radiation, laser spot treatments, chemo, etc. So far, every time the Leukemia goes away it comes back. And every time it comes back it seems to have gotten smarter and grown resistant to the last course of treatment. Eventually if you don't get rid of it for good, you run out of treatment options. And then what? Today I read the latest blog post of this family and was not able to stop my tears from flowing. This mother was actually trying to break the news to their friends and family that they may be running out of options. And it was heart breaking to hear how she was almost apologizing for the fact that they have to start facing this horrible reality. She kept clarifying that they were still gonna stay positive and still try to fight, as if she owed that to her friends and family. As if they owe anybody anything. It was amazing that at a time of such personal angst, she is worrying about not letting anyone down by admitting defeat or giving up. Almost like if she gives up everyone will. It should be the other way around. She should not be holding everyone up, we should be holding her up. She should be the one afraid, and finding it hard to stay positive, and having the rest of us step in and do that job for her, when she can't. But instead she is doing it for everyone, and she is in one word... amazing. One of my favorite quotes from her blog post today was this: "we still have fun - we laugh- we play - we sing and dance - we still love, no matter what." She also pointed out that her son has lived longer than anyone ever has with this form of cancer being this aggressive and she pointed out that everyday with him is a miracle.
I spent so many years being angry about why some things happen to some people. But now I have come to peace with the idea that, as they say, "shit happens". I can't believe there is a reason why some people are hit with tragedies and others aren't. Cause I think if there was "a plan" sophisticated enough to pinpoint who and where in the world to strike with certain tragedies and there was some deeper underlining meaning to the suffering, I think "shit" would only "happen" to "shitty people". And good things would happen to good people, and NOT the other way around. I think these instances or misfortunes in life are just as random as the person who just happens to have bird poop land on their shoulder when there are so many other targets near them. That is scary, but that is life. And it makes me want to look up or check my own shoulder. Maybe they should change the saying to "Life Happens" instead...
Humans are capable of the most sincere and amazing forms of sympathy and empathy. We are capable of shedding unimaginable tears for strangers we don't even know, as we watch planes crashing into buildings, or orphans devastated in a Tsunami or Earthquake. We are capable of amazing acts of selflessness and compassion in times of tragedy or crisis. It is one part of mankind that I love. Why though do we humans lack the ability to really learn from someone else's tragedies? How many of us get back to our own lives and forget the impact too quickly? How many don't learn anything at all from the experience? It is like seeing the way a man aches for the passing of his wife and agonize with regret over things said and things NOT said, but not learning to really appreciate your own spouse (flaws and all) while you are lucky enough to have them still. Or reading about this Mesa Mother who is fighting for her child's life every minute and has watched him suffer more in his short life then any baby should, and yet still being so angry when your child refuses to take a nap that day, and ruins whatever plans you had. We shouldn't need personal tragedy to strike our own homes to feel that every minute with our kids and loved ones is a miracle. We shouldn't need to lose someone to realize we should have loved someone more or treated them better. Yet this seems to be the state we live in, and it causes so much needless regret and sadness.
I am really trying to be one of those people that truly learns from other people's tragedies just as much as I am trying to learn from the positive ways people approach life. I think this is why Kelle Hampton's blog (which has now gone viral) has affected me so much. Or why this Mesa family's tragedy is affecting me so much. I don't want to be that person that grieves for the pain and suffering of others, but then doesn't apply anything to my own life. I don't want to be annoyed anymore when Ryen naps for only 30 minutes instead of 1 hour cause I may have had something better to do, or when she says Mommy 500 times in one day. Cause I can guarantee if my Bunny were not here, I would give anything to have that 30 minutes back or hear the word Mommy slip off her precious lips. I don't want to waste time getting angry at Ella for having a potty accident anymore cause she didn't want to stop playing or watching TV or when she throws a fit cause her blanket is not perfect. I would rather have Ella just as she is, accidents/tantrums and all, over not having her here at all or not having her smell on that blanket anymore...
I am not perfect and I will have to work on it everyday, but I can't think of a more worthy journey to take. In the meantime, I will keep hoping everyday for this boy's treatment and transplants to do their job and give him a chance at life.
at 7:11 PM