Everybody has a skill a talent.. something that is special and unique about them. A way for them to give back..Everybody has a story to tell and I am able to tell my publicly. .. But at the center of it.. My truest calling.. now.
I am a cancer mom.. but specifically one to a child that was on hospice and died.. one that is dead. And that’s where I am most useful. That’s where I can help.. it is my role and my place in this world.
At first it was parents with teenagers that were really screwing off.. I could talk to them from the child’s point of view.. I could share my story and my success in overcoming it. Then it became infertility and adoption. I used to be good at talking to people and helping them through those darker times.. especially transition times.. during a miscarriage or starting a more invasive path to try to get pregnant.
Now a new role.. that I know is my place.. that I know is what I am good at. I never had time to make “cancer mom” friends while Jennifer was sick. But now I have quite a few. . It happens during hospice or right after their child passes away. Somehow I am just good at that time.
I don’t think I am helpful.. I know I am not as comfortable while a child is in the middle of the battle for their lives.. But once the battle is winding down.. once the battle is mainly within the parents shattering hearts.. I am good. I am helpful and I am confident in that.
But its hard.
I hear them.. knowing they want the answers for what to do.. or even whats happening to their child. Is it seizures? Is it muscle spasms? What I really hear though is the screaming underneath all those questions and attempts to figure it all out.. I hear the agony in wanting to be able to keep their child out of pain.. and the fear that in all likelihood.. they won’t be able to.
I think for most parents.. at least the moms that I talk to.. The underlying question at some point stops being how can I save them and simply becomes how can I help them?
Such a twisted question. So wrong. And so cruel to do a parent.
But this is childhood cancer. This is what isn’t being funded.
I drove by a planning meeting for Relay for Life today… I saw the signs all over. And I wanted to go in to be sure they did it in honor of adults only… since thats who the money goes towards.. Less than one cent of every dollar they raise will go towards pediatrics.. The governments cancer budget.. less than 4% of that money goes to save these kids.
A beautiful and incredibly generous young lady Lauren Hill #22 just beat cancer forever. It’s a big deal, SHE is a big deal.. its been on ESPN.. LaBron James has tweeted about her, actually to her.. I read all of that and am grateful and frankly happy for her parents that so many are honoring their daughter.. but then I hear my phone buzz or I check my Facebook messages and I remember.. so many other children.. and parents are in the depths of it right now.
…and I remember..
Kids are dying.. day after day after day.. The statistics just keep piling up.. What does that number need to be to matter enough?
For me its one. Its her. My Jennifer Lynn.
I just wish it wasn’t.
I wish I fought for her before I knew she needed me to. We have a posting we share on FB that for me sums it all up. Donate like your child has cancer. Thats it. That says it all for me right there. Donate time. Donate money. Donate resources. Donate your voice, like it was your child.
Because Oct 25th it wasn’t mine..
And today is some other mothers last day to say it wasn’t hers.. And all I can do as that reality washes over me is hope that I would never be a real help to them.. that that mom won’t be the one making my phone buzz one day..
to me you will always matter
you will always be more than just another one
and I am sorry.
…until there is a cure..