September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Each day I will feature a different guest blogger who will generously share their personal experience with childhood cancer. Stories are always more potent than statistics. The hope is that by learning about children with cancer, readers will be more invested in turning their awareness into action. Read more about this series and childhood cancer HERE.
By Pauline Grady
Ok, I’m laying it out here on the table God. This test…this test that you insist on making harder and harder, it’s killing me. I put on a smile everyday. There are many times I could just sit in the middle of the isle at Target and cry. Not because I couldn’t find the sheets I was looking for or the new shower curtain I want…no. I just want to sit and scream and see if the world stops around me. I know it’s not going to happen, but it would be really great to see the look on everyone’s face. Yep, for shits and giggles…I think I might do it.
Listen, I know you are there God. I know you hear me when I pray to you. I know you hear me when I am crying and screaming in my room when nobody else is in the house. When it’s just you and me. I know you hear me begging you to continue to guide me in the right direction, to make the right decisions so that we can come out of this on top. I know you hear me. You have to. There is nobody to distract our conversation. The kids aren’t asking me for string cheese and juice boxes and my husband isn’t nagging we about the five loads of clothes that have been sitting in our room for two weeks.
I had read something a while ago about how God chooses certain moms to be the caretaker of a sick child, children with cancer in particular. I feel honored that you chose me, thinking I am strong enough to do this, but really God…there are some days I am literally hanging off a cliff…I mean with like one finger keeping me from falling to the absolute bottom. Sometimes I feel like letting go because I feel like the pain of hitting the bottom wouldn’t be nearly as bad as watching Sam go through this shit. The pain wouldn’t be nearly as bad as watching my friends struggle through there days because they lost there child to this beast. Sometimes I wonder what the fall to the absolute bottom would be like. Would I reconsider and try to catch another cliff on my way down, or would someone try to catch me?
I hope you don’t get angry with me God. I haven’t gone to church in a while. I feel more comfortable talking to you without a bunch of people around. Frankly, I am not to happy with the church we “attend.” I don’t like when a priest tells me that I have to make an appointment with his secretary to meet with him. I don’t ever have to make an appointment with you. Someone who supposedly preaches your word should not need to make appointment with people that need them. So, I will stick to my personal time with you. No appointment needed.
I’m tired God. Really tired. I know you say when we are at our weakest that you carry us. You must be really strong, because you have been carrying me, Sam, Rick and Eli for a while now. How ’bout a little break for the both of us? That way you can let us walk a little. Weight off both our shoulders. We get a break from all this craziness, and you can catch your breath from carrying us. This way I can look down and see two footprints because I know you will be right next to us.
Okay, God. That’s it for tonight. Make sure my babies sleep good tonight. Eli worried a great deal about his brother today, and Sam just isn’t his self. Protect my husband. He works so hard and worries about myself and the boys all the time. I’ll talk to you soon. When the house is quiet. No appointment needed. Amen.
This post first appeared in Pauline's blog, chemoanddonuts, in June 2013. I highly recommend it as a slice of childhood cancer reality. Her son, Sam, is in treatment for leukemia and is on a countdown to finish that treatment in September 2014.
If you're looking for all of the posts in the Childhood Cancer Stories: The September Series, you can find them catalogued HERE.
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