I am good and tired of watching my child suffer.
Three times they pushed a nauseatingly large needle directly into his spine. I try not to look. I sit by his side. I am always by his side.
I catch tears that drop unheeded. He is sedated but, still, he feels the pain.
I smile for him, and we tell his favorite knock-knock jokes. We are in a sterile room with several nurses. Machines monitor his heart, and it all seems okay.
But it’s not okay. I hate it.
“Mom, I just can’t wait til I’m done with cancer so I can have a regular life.”
I try to draw him out. ”What do you think a regular life is like?”
“It’s like a life where you don’t feel sick all the time and you get to have more fun. And I won’t be so mad and aggressive anymore. I don’t remember what it feels like to have a regular life.”
I don’t remember either, baby, I don’t remember either. But, no matter what kind of life we are given, I will always be right beside you.
A Psalm of Life
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
What the Heart of the Young Man Said to the Psalmist
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
“Life is but an empty dream!”
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
“Dust thou art, to dust returnest,”
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Finds us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,–act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing
Learn to labor and to wait.
To my beautiful sons: I hope someday this blog is a footprint, which points you to the One who is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20) And keep pressing on, loves, keep pressing on.