Friday, January 2, 2009

One Year Ago . . .

I was somewhere between leaving Primary Children's, picking up Matt, Emma, and Spencer from friends' houses, and sitting them down to tell them that their brother had cancer.

Today is a better day :)

Jake asked if I was going to post today, so this is for him:

I actually didn't sleep well last night. Hardly at all, in fact. I read until 1:00 a.m. and then played solitaire on my iPod until 2:00 a.m. and then lay in the dark staring at my clock until 3:00 a.m.--at some point after that I dozed but I kept waking up. When I woke up at 5:30, I couldn't go back to sleep. It was 5:30 in the morning last year when Jake was admitted to the surgical ward to await a biopsy.

There are, at least for me, only a handful of moments in time that stand out as "My life will never be the same." My children being born is the first to come to mind . . . but I had 9 months to think about that.

10:30 a.m., January 2, 2008 is a moment I never saw coming. I didn't ask for it, I didn't want it, but there it was. Standing in a hallway with a surgical resident whose name I'm not sure I ever knew as he told me, " We found the tissue sample from the dentist. The pathologist has finished his report. I'm sorry, it is cancer."

That is the only time in my life where I remember thinking: "From this moment on, everything changes."

I was only half right.

What hasn't changed? I'm still ecstatically married. I'm still the mother of four children. I'm still a writer and a friend and a woman of faith. I still live in the same house and go to the same church and send my kids to school and balance the checkbook and do laundry and read.

What has changed? Everything is deeper. Everything is clearer. Everything is more precious. Every breath I take I treasure. Every breath my children take, I give thanks.

Oh, here's something else that's changed--I listen to Matt and Jake's music (okay, more Matt than Jake. I'm sorry, Ozzy Osbourne is never going to make my list, Jake!) This summer Chris and I went with Matt and Jake to see Angels and Airwaves in Salt Lake. My favorite song of theirs is called Rites of Spring. Here's the chorus:

If I had a chance for another try . . .
I wouldn't change a thing, it's made me all of who I am inside.
And if I could thank God that I am here and that I am alive
Every day I wake I tell myself a little harmless lie . . .
The whole wide world is mine

Would I change this day a year ago if I could?

I can honestly say no. I wish I could take away all the fear and grief and the pain and the uncertainty that Jake in particular has had to endure. But I cannot wish undone "all of who I am inside". And I cannot untangle that from Jacob's cancer.

Bless all of you who have prayed for Jake. Bless all those children who suffer tonight, from cancer or anything else. May the blessings walk hand in hand with the trials and may we always have the wisdom to see both.


Laura said...

I thought I was done with the tears for the day....You and your family are wonderful. I have so much respect for you guys and your children. Jake, Matt, Emma, and Spencer are such sweet kids. Jake seems to be always smiling when I see him. Matt is smiling a lot as well and I'm sure he's forgiven you, he just wants to hold you to something as teenagers do. We are getting plenty over here of that. We love you and are so happy this is a new year to look forward to with our families.
All our love,
Laura & family

April said...

One of your best posts. Beautiful. Both of you.