Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reisterstown, Maryland
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 12:02 AM, CST
I know I need not apologize for not hopping on her last night, but I always feel better when I do. I had a crimp in my neck and took Tylenol PM to aid in my relief and next thing I knew I could not keep my eyes open.
Today has also been quite busy and the computer never seemed to be in arms reach. I will back up to yesterday and our appointment at the pediatric oncology clinic. We did not get to talk to Dr. Hum, but instead another one of the doctors in the clinic met with us. He did not share with us any news we were not already prepared to hear…there is nothing left that can medically save Sicily’s life. Patrick and I have been trying to comprehend that thought for the past week and a half. My mind has agreed to accept it, but my heart still aches beyond belief. I still marvel in the beauty of what is before us. I still feel blessed that we get to kiss her and tell her over and over again how much we love her…to the point she is tired of our affection. We still see “Sicily” appear amidst the discomfort and pain she is starting to endure. The appearances of our happy-go-lucky little girl don’t happen as often as we’d like or last as long, either, but we celebrate that she is still “there” somewhere in that little body that is starting to fail her. I always knew God had a special plan for this little gal, but never in my wildest dreams did I think this would be it.
I recently received an email from one of our family members…a niece who is actually assisting another family dealing with the loss of their child. She sent me a sweet story she saw on their son’s website written by the one and only Erma Bombeck and these words went straight to my heart. What really amazed me was the timing of this email. It was sent on Wednesday, March 24th…the day before we found out Sicily’s cancer was terminal. Timing…God is really good at it! This little story made me feel so very special and helped me understand “why”…even though that is a question I have chosen not to ask!
The Chosen Mothers
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit.
Did you ever wonder how mothers of children with life threatening illnesses are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.
“Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint Cecilia. Rutledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint Gerard.”
Finally, He passes a name to an angel and says, “Give her a child with cancer.” The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”
“Exactly” smiles God, “Could I give a child with cancer a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.” "But, does she have patience?” asks the angel.
“I don’t want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she will handle it.”
“I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has its own world. She has to make it live in her world and that’s not going to be easy.”
“But, Lord, I don’t think she believes in you.” "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.” The angel gasps – “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”
God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she’ll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take anything her child does for granted. She will never consider a single step ordinary. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see…ignorance, cruelty, prejudice…and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing My work as surely as if she is here by My side.”
“And what about her patron Saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in mid-air. God smiles, “A mirror will suffice.”
(Thanks, Stephanie!) ; )
I cried the first time my eyes read these words and my heart related to it like no other explanation that had been given to me before. This little story went hand in hand with the epiphany I truly experienced halfway through Sicily’s first treatment. I finally understood my place in this world…I understood why God sent me down some paths and not down others. I have struggledpractically my whole life with my self worth. I’m the baby of four and the only one of my siblings who did not earn a college degree. My oldest two siblings both hold masters in their perspective fields. I can honestly say I have a college education, but no piece of paper stating that I completed a degree. No pictures of a smiling gown and cap clad girl with her arms wrapped around the necks of her friends oozing excitement for what the future holds. I’ve attended four different schools in search of finding “who” I was or “what” I wanted to be when I grew up. It never came to me. I privately punished myself for the longest time for not working hard enough to figure out or find my purpose in life. I struggled to narrow down that “thing” I could focus on or study as I liked so many different things…I have always been a “Jack of all trades, master of none!” I fell head over heels in love and and continue to fall every day for a man that loves me for “me!” We’ve been blessed with four beautiful children and many, many other fulfilling life treasures. Then it hit me one day, almost literally, what God had planned for me all along. It all started to make sense…every little detail of my life and why things happened to me and what it all meant. I understood why certain people were put in my path. I understood why I (He) made certain decisions and the effects of each of those decisions in His grand scheme of things. God did not lead me down the path of a career for He knew I would be needed in a larger capacity some day. I would need to be free of any big commitments or obligations. If I had a job I loved and our family depended on it financially, we could have been devastated even more so when the world of pediatric cancer invaded our lives. He equipped me with the skills He knew I would need to manage and survive the life He had planned for us. I finally understood. I truly got it and totally get it to this day. I am where I am supposed to be and doing what I am supposed to be doing. I’ve learned firsthand that life is not fair, but when did God ever say it would be? “Fairness” is a word mankind created but God doesn’t believe in or practice. The sooner that is accepted, the better off we all would be. I don’t want to waste precious time focusing on what’s fair and what’s not. I still think we’ve tipped the scale in the category of blessings. I will continue to live this life looking for the good that surrounds us and thanking God for His constant companionship.
I’ve rambled long enough and my eye lids are getting heavy. I will sign off for now. We are meeting with Hospice tomorrow afternoon to accept any assistance they may offer.
Our love to you all!