Telling Our Son
Simon has been back in the hospital three full days now. Long enough to start decorating. Thank you, Texas Flag Fairy.
It feels like we’re at an impasse. They drained over two liters of fluid from his abdomen again and gave him another blood transfusion. It seems so redundant to take blood and put it back in unless it’s dialysis. But they are closely monitoring all sorts of levels and numbers and we’re hoping to hear there is good progress happening.
The social worker and oncology nurse gave us some helpful resources to help the children adjust to our new normal. We are wanting them to be more active in this journey but still aren’t using the words cancer or death. Not yet. We don’t have a time frame so they don’t need a time frame to worry over. We had our seven year old son come visit Simon for the first time in the hospital tonight. (FYI, in case you haven’t figured it out, we’re not using our kids’ names – or specific names of most people, places, and things – on this blog for their protection. Our friends and family know them. Creepy internet weirdos don’t need to know them. So don’t be surprised if you accidentally use our kids’ names in the comments and it gets changed or deleted. It’s because we love them.) Anyway, our oldest kid came to visit tonight. He met the nurse, saw Simon in his new habitat, and worked on a Star Wars puzzle with me that was smuggled from one of my coworkers from another floor. The visit seemed to go very well. Until the car ride home.
During the short drive home, our son says he hopes Dad will get better really soon. I agreed that we all hope he will get better soon. And that’s what we’re all praying for. But I simply explained Dad may stay sick and might not be able to do the same things he did before. And that it didn’t change how much he loves our son. I didn’t say a word about dying. But even hearing that his dad might not get better floored him. He burst into tears. Hysterical tears. MY. HEART. BROKE. Our son has always been particularly sweet and sensitive. There is no way around these tender emotions. I held him, cried with him, assured him how deeply he is loved by so many people, and that Dad will always love him, even if he can’t play basketball with him.
This is by far the hardest part. The kids. I really do feel strong in many areas of this journey but envisioning how I’ll help the kids cope leaves me feeling raw and overwhelmed. I KNOW we have so much love and support. I KNOW kids are amazingly resilient. I carry a burden thinking about the balance of caring for them, keeping up with their routines, and being flexible when plans change. Being careful to remember they are emotional creatures but that their thought processes aren’t as abstract as an adult. And consistently reminding them that God loves them every bit as much as He loves me and you. He has been preparing them for this journey, too. Keep praying. Even if you never have before, make tonight the first night. Pray for our kids. Pray for my fears. Pray for your own battles.
Let Him bear your burdens.