Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Me and baby Jacob 1996

Jacob was born just four days after Mother's Day.

He was born on Thursday, May 16, 1996 at 9:43 p.m. at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, Washington. I was extremely glad to no longer be pregnant. (1996 was definitely the most uncomfortable Mother's Day of my life.)

I've been thinking of another mother and son this week. Bonnie is an online friend of mine whose 26-year-old son, Jordan, was diagnosed with Metastatic Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma one week after Jake's diagnosis. He was living in China with his wife at the time he got sick. It was a tricky diagnosis and the treatment has been excruciating with little to no progress.

Last week, Jordan and his family chose to discontinue treatment and move to palliative care. Right after finding that out, I was reading Joan Didion's book THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING for book club and the chapter I happened to be on expressed perfectly what I was feeling for Bonnie's sake.

Joan Didion's only child, a grown daughter, was in intensive care in California. When Joan arrived at her bedside, she told her daughter, "You're safe. I'm here. You're going to be all right."

Joan goes on to write: "It occurred to me during those weeks that this had been, since the day we brought her home . . . my basic promise to her. I would not leave. I would take care of her. She would be all right. It also occurred to me that this was a promise I could not keep."

As I discussed this with a dear friend who has spent her share of time helping people she loves leave this life, she shared some hard-earned wisdom with me. As parents, we can't always make everything right. But we can always keep our promise never to leave. We can promise to hold our child's hand and be with them until the moment that someone from the other side reaches out a hand and promises to keep them safe for us.

As you pray for Jacob, say a little prayer for Jordan and his family, especially his mother and his wife. If you want to know more about this brave family, you can read about their journey at

Thank you.

No comments: