This year has been so good to us…. and here’s the proof.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
I never want to forget.
I want to keep the memories. That may sound crazy to some people. Why not just take that year and shove it in a corner far away and pretend it never happened? Why not just pretend like I never saw the things I saw or felt the things I felt?
What surprises me is sometimes how it feels like a year fell out of my life. Not in a bad way, but almost like there’s a blank space. But there are things that bring it all back. Scott got his first haircut this month. A year ago in August was when all those curls fell and left a soft bald head. And now a year later, I watch the hair fall to the floor again.
-At the airport the other day there was a little girl who looked like a girl from the hospital in Memphis. I miss those little brown eyes that used to stare at me over a mask that was too big for her face.
-A man in the street was playing a song on his guitar that we used to sing at St. Jude. It made me shiver a little.
-When I walk by the dairy section in Kroger I see the chocolate milk Scott would drink. It was one of the only ways we could keep him from losing so much weight every time he went in for chemo.
-A lady cut us off in traffic the other day, and it made me laugh because it reminded me of the crazy drivers in Memphis that we used to joke about.
It’s like ghosts that come tapping on my heart. Ghosts of memories that remind me of a year that fell out of my life. They’re good ghosts, because when they come I remember the things I’d hoped and prayed I wouldn’t forget. Even though sometimes the memories hurt just a little bit, I’m thankful for them.
It keeps me real.
It makes me see people differently. There are stories in people, burning behind their eyes that we may never know. Like today, as we sat around with a group of kids we’d never really met before one of the boys caught sight of the scar that snakes down Scott’s arm.
“How’d you get that? Fourwheelin’?” The boy asked, over the loud noise of the other people.
Scott lifted up his sleeve a little, showing the path the scar takes up his arm and a few inches into his chest.
“Nah, I got cancer.”
The silence in the room is powerful. But all Scott does is throw his sleeve down again and sit back in his chair.
Nah, I got cancer.
But that boy with the scar sitting in the chair with the hair and eyebrows and eyelashes that have grown in over the past 3 months doesn’t look like he had cancer.
Everyone’s got a story. Funny why we focus so much attention on what a celebrity in Hollywood ate for breakfast, when behind us in the grocery store line is a women or man who’s story would blow our minds. That mint gum she’s buying? It’s for her little boy who’s in chemo, because chewing it takes the nausea away. When I look at people sometimes I can see the stories screaming out behind their eyes, and sometimes it takes years. Just little pieces at a time.
I knew at the time that the Lord was strengthening us. I knew that for sure. I could feel Him filling our lives with peace in the middle of madness. But now, looking back on that year I am speechless. Oh, how I see it now…. I see now what I could only feel then. How fully blessed every day was. Looking back I see all the bumps in that road that He comforted us over. I see how protected I was from things that would’ve shattered my heart. I see how much strength He lent me.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. When I type those words my mind is filled with the faces of all my friends, those who have fought and won, those who are fighting, and those who have beat us to Heaven.
Their battles aren’t unseen, and they are so very brave.
So, so brave.
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