Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Remembering an Important Moment

There are lots of moments everyday when I think of Bea. Sometimes they make me sad. Other times and, honestly less often, they lift my spirits. And then there are those singular moments when you recognize a shift in your person and know that that moment changed you and her from then on.

This little story is one of those moments. And it is one of the best examples of what a parent's love can do for a child that I can share.

It was early morning and Lewis was at summer camp. So, it was just me and Bea at home. I don't remember what was scheduled for the day but I do recall that it was summer. School hadn't started and she was still very active. But she was not well enough to go to camp anymore.

Bea had a headache. This wasn't unusual and so I gave her Tylenol to take the edge off and hopefully take it away. Bea was tired of headaches and became very impatient when the Tylenol didn't work quickly. She yelled "I have a headache" over and over and was very upset that I couldn't fix it.

I moved to sit next to her, took her face in my hands and said something to this effect: "Mommy never ever wants you to hurt and I don't like that you have headaches either. I am doing EVERYTHING I can to make you feel better because I love you so much. And sometimes I can't do better but I am doing my best."

It was a spontaneous little speech and I didn't think it would make her feel any better.

It did. She relaxed and her headache eventually went away. I remember feeling how important her trust was for me to care for her and knowing that I could never break that trust.

She trusted me completely. She knew I would care of her and make her feel better when she didn't feel good. Bea let me heal and soothe her the best way I knew how and, wow, what a gift that was.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Close to the Surface

It's been awhile since I posted last and I'm getting close to posting my last words here. This may be because I'm feeling quiet about expressing how I really feel most days or maybe because I simply have nothing left to say. I don't know.

But, the reality is this... the grief is still very close to the surface. This means that it's always there just beneath my smiles and light conversation. It's very much present and I feel it almost all the time. It's not unbearable. It's just present.

Grief presents itself in all kinds of ways. Lately I've been feeling disappointed and that the world lacks fairness. There's no person or deity to blame. I don't believe in divine intervention. I do believe that every doctor Bea saw did everything they could for her, and more. It's just not fair that Bea got cancer to begin with. Or that the cancer she did get was so difficult to treat. Or that the initial treatment with radiation makes you believe that the doctors are wrong and that the cancer can be treated and go away.

Cancer sucker punches over and over again. You think it's over and life is great and then you find out that it's not and there's a lot more work to do to get rid of it. Or you find out that you can't but that there may be some medicine that could help but there's no guarantee and that this new medicine may make you or your loved one really sick in new and horrible ways.

But, this isn't about me and what I lost. It's about what Bea will never have. I could go through the list I have in my head but it's way too long and way too painful to do. No more milestones. No more little happy moments. For her. Not for me. She got seriously short changed. It's just not fair.

It's so easy to go to this place. Seeing the sun rise or my pink azaleas blooming or smelling fresh cut grass can set me off into the world of the unfair. Because it's not fair that Bea won't be able to see the sun rise or set or enjoy her favorite pink flowers or run barefoot in the grass. It's really, really, really not fair.