Thursday, April 18, 2013

4.4 Years Old

"Mi Maw, come play marbles with me!"  I hear my dark haired grandson implore.  His curls framing his sweet face and dark, brown eyes.  


"Mi Maw, I want to swing!"  he yells as he darts across the grass, picking the lowest one, so that he can climb upon the rubber seat himself.


"Mi Maw, I had a very good day with you today. I love you." he quietly whispers in my ear, as I snuggle with him at bedtime just after we've said our prayers. 

And I look deep into his young heart, remembering my own son, Joshua.  He too was  4.4 years old. And then we discovered he was very sick.

And a sadness comes over me, as I try to remember him, before cancer, before the tumor invaded his little body.  I see his round chubby face, and straight, light brown hair. I hear his giggles and remember his energy, but they seem so far away.

Cancer has stolen so much from him.  It has not taken his life, but it has left him with physical damage and physical  limitations, daily challenges and daily reminders.  It has left him with anxiety and fear as he struggles to fit in and "do life".   It has left him with chronic pain, making it difficult to get up each morning and get going.  

Most heartbreaking of all, he lost his boyish innocence about life. 

He knows about death.  He lives with loss, everyday.  And so when I comfort him, by telling him he will see his sisters againbecause he's sad they all went back home or back to school after the holidays, he stops me short.

"You don't know that mom.  Anything could happen to them at any time. They could die tomorrow."  

I say nothing, knowing he is right.  They could.

And I wish, he were whole again. I wish he didn't have to give himself growth hormone injections at night.  I wish he could go swimming and play contact sports.  I wish he didn't have to worry about activities that could cause him to become a quadriplegic like sledding and trampolines and snow-skiing and skate boarding.  I wish he wasn't afraid he could lose his sisters or his mom and dad at any moment.  

I wish, the knowledge of death wasn't so real for him.

I cozy up to my grandson, when he's slowed down for a bit, and start running my fingers through his black curls.  I feel his body relax next to mine.  

And I pray for his life, asking God to keep him whole.  

May his boyish innocence continue on, allowing him to jump in puddles.