Friday, August 27, 2010

Out of the mouth of a pediatric oncologist...

She was Asian-American, young, self assured, smart. She was Josh’s first pediatric oncologist. And at a moment of great suffering she turned to me and said, “You need to let go.”

Sometimes people speak words we need to hear, but we balk at them, everything in us rising up against it. For me, this was that moment. Enraged I vowed to never “let go”. How could I abandon my son? I thought. But her words seemed trapped in my mind. And every so often as each year came and went, I found myself back in that instant reliving her words, her tone of voice, the look of sincerity on her face. As time marched on, I discovered the implication of her words were not what I had thought. Being so damned black and white, I had missed the depth and spiritual significance of what she said. And as time has evolved and I have hopefully grown, I recognize what she intended for me to hear.

Joshua or any of my children for that matter are not mine. I don’t own them or their lives. I don’t have control over what might or might not happen to them. They were created by God and given to my husband and me as gifts, for a time. So to “let go” is to release a burden of trying to control what I cannot. This truth, straight from God, was spoken to me in an instant of fear by a doctor who was treating my son. My fear, my black and whiteness blocked it from penetrating my soul until years later. Now I appreciate her words, her effort, and her wisdom.

Out of the mouth of Frank at Children’s Healing Art Project…

He’s an artist, creative, funny, with wavy sandy-red hair. With the spirit of a child, he loves children and clearly is gifted in working with kids who have life threatening illnesses and even dying children. He works with insight and intuition both powerful and astounding. After seeing his impact on my son’s emotional wellbeing I went to thank him. As we spoke together I mentioned my struggle with “survivor’s guilt”. I wondered aloud, “Why do other families lose their children to cancer while our son is cancer free?”

“I am no more deserving than Melissa or Kathy or Lauren” I cried.

Pausing and looking straight into my eyes he quietly said, “It’s not about you”.

Other times people will say something we know we are meant to hear. The words stop us cold; freezing the moment as they are released into the air. Penetrating my soul I knew, I just knew his words were truth. Oh, how easily I turn everything into something about me. How centered I am on my feelings, my emotions, my thoughts when all the while, it’s really not about me. This life, my life is not about me. It’s about those around me. It’s about my Creator and His work, His creation, His people placed in my life. It’s about His Planet. It’s about His love, His sacrifice, His continued work. It’s about His miraculous acts each day. It’s about centering my life on Him.

May I endeavor to remember and live out these truths: “Let go” and “It’s not about me”.

Out of the mouth of God…

1 comment:

medicalmutiny said...

I have stumbled across your blog by accident and the way you write is particularly poignant for me as I am on my own cancer journey, but as an adult I can rationalise and make sense of it. How much more baffling must it be for a child. I wish you and Josh all the best.