“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary…”
to LAUGH, we turn off all the lights and have a grand dart gun battle. Sometimes at the end of a hard day, I surrender to the magnificent disarray of our home and embrace laughter. Dishes, laundry, chaos will always be here. But will my boys remember or care about having a clean house and a mom who’s all neatly put together or will they remember us laughing together as we bombard each other with Nerf darts in a dark house?
Day 243. Justin has entered the “maintenance phase” of his treatment protocol. It began today with a spinal tap. His doctor extracted spinal fluid to check for cancer cells then injected chemo medication directly into Justin’s central nervous system by way of his spine. His spinal fluid was nice and clear, meaning the treatment is working effectively and has maintained remission. (Three years of remission is considered a cure for A.L.L and Justin’s treatment protocol boasts an 85% success rate. But it’s a LOT of medication.)
It was a long, tedious, painful day for Justin. His nurse went over the oral medication schedule for the next two and a half years. I think my teacher certification exams were easier.
We will step forward in grace, finding ways to make laughter outweigh pain and looking to God’s goodness, ever eclipsing the ugly, sad and broken; placing our hope in Truth when we are down and remembering that Justin’s awareness of God’s grace is being honed each time he overcomes procedures, blood draws, foot pain, nausea, exams, distaste for oral medication. Each time he rises above the ravaging toll of chemotherapy and kicks a soccer ball hard and fast down the field, Justin becomes more acquainted with the Jesus-grace and Jesus-joy and Jesus-hope his mom is always chattering about.
As I write in bed before collapsing, Justin is fast asleep at my side, still too traumatized and insecure to sleep alone. His brand new hair is coming in faster now. His dark, thick, coarse covering has been replaced with soft, blonde, baby-duck-fuzz.
Justin will be changed. He will be different in many ways. But I trust that it will be for his ultimate good. (Romans 8:28)
My prayer is that Justin remembers the laughter at the end of today, not the puncture of needles and nauseating infusion of chemicals. Find someone to blast with darts and laugh your heads off together. You’d be surprised how much it helps.
With help from the Spirit, I also choose to remember the temporal nature of our time here on earth, subsequently committing myself to joy in the hope of my salvation. Grace be with you, my friends.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2