Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cancer Sucks Which is Why I am Choosing to be Crude This Time

I am here.  And I must share a bit about where I have been for the past several days and why it has been so difficult for me to come up with words and why my heart is constantly breaking into a billion, trillion pieces but how those shattered pieces are still very much alive and living in the people who now own them.

This is Jack.  For those of you who might have missed my previous posts about this angel boy or for those of you whom I have more recently come to know, Jack is a nine and a half year old boy who has been living with cancer, neuroblastoma, for far too many years of his life.  For those of you who took Jack into your own hearts at first sight, thank you.  Your thoughts and prayers and encouragement for Jack's mothers have helped to hold them up when all they wanted to do was melt into a puddle on the ground beneath their own feet.  First diagnosed at age three and then again, at age eight, Jack has fought a battle that most of us will never have to endure in an entire lifetime.(God willing.)  Whenever I say that I am fighting the good fight, this amazing young angel shows up in my mind's eye and gives me the power to fight even harder.  For HE has truly fought and continues to fight, The Good Fight.  He has done so with bravery and resilience and more courage than I could ever begin to even claim to have.  He has done so with a love for life that far too many healthy individuals take for granted even on their best days.  He has done so with a heart so huge that it humbles me to know that it can still fit within his tiny, cancer ravaged body.
We have known Jack since well before he was born.  His mommy has been a part of our lives for so many years.  She was a teacher in the school that my daughters attended.  Angel Daughter Number One who is now twenty-three, was in her fifth grade class, and Angel Daughter Number Two was lucky enough to have her as a teacher in both third and fifth grades.  She is now twenty-one. We requested and insisted on Jen all three times.  She and I became friends, which was not so easy at first because Jen, Jack's mommy, is a very private person.  She didn't want to cross that parent-teacher "boundary".  But, over time, she could not resist just letting me in bit by bit(I knew I would win her over, chocolate helped) and by the time she was ready to move from California to Georgia so that she could afford to stay home with Jack full-time, we had become close friends.  Thank goodness for the Internet!  We were able to remain close friends from a distance and stay updated on each other's lives.  When Jack was first diagnosed with cancer, we wept and cursed and then cheered him on from across the country.

Last week, Jen brought Jack and Kate(her sweet six and a half year old) out to California.  And although we did not have nearly enough time together, I understand that Jack's days are precious and that there was a huge amount that they wanted to pack into a four day trip.  Thankfully, we were able to see them for two of those days.
These photos were taken the first night that we met up with Jack, Kate, Jen and Gretchen(Jen's sweet partner).  Jack was very groggy from some of the new pain meds that he was on, but when he woke up, he asked if he could ride in our car on the drive down to our beach house.  We were overjoyed!  Jack has a herd of stuffed cows that accompany him everywhere.  Jen sent me one when Jack was three.  He calls them all "Moo-Moo".  Angel Daughter Number Four is holding my Moo-Moo(who insisted on coming to visit with Jack and the herd!), Jack is holding his.  It was a wonderful, bittersweet, sobering, but never to be forgotten, reunion.

I am so tired.  I am punch-drunk on love.  I am emotionally spent.  And I am grateful, so gosh-darn grateful to have been able to share these precious moments with this boy, our boy.  Your boy.  I can guarantee you, part of your heart will be his, too.  He is that incredibly special.

There will definitely be another "Jack" post to follow very soon, more pictures to share.  In the meantime, feel free to stop by Jack's website and when you do, please leave a note of encouragement, prayer, love, support, or even just a hello for this beautiful family.  They need all of the kindness that they can get right now, but also, you will find out what it is like to be truly touched by an angel.  The earthly kind.  For underneath all of the sadness, there is grace.  So much grace.

With so much love,


LauraX said...

L♥Ve You so much. Thank you for introducing me to Jack and his know how dear they have become to me over the past year+ since we have connected across the internet bridge of love. I'm so happy that you were able to hug you sweet friends in person, to give them as many hugs as you could (and an extra one from me). Perhaps we too will meet in person and sip tea and enjoy exquisite chocolate...for now, I am ever grateful that we have cultivated a warm friendship despite the miles of roads, field, lakes, deserts and mountains that separate us physically. You are always near to my he♥rt!

Kathleen Botsford said...

Just look at his sweet eyes behind the Moo Moo! Your love shines out to embrace so many lucky people, lucky families. So glad to be one of them!

Angella Lister said...

There is such love and care in these pictures, in the words you write here. This child is walking such a hard road, as are his mothers, but I am sure he feels the love that surrounds him so powerfully. I am adding my prayers and sending my love. Bless you, dear Debra.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the update on this precious little angel. I am thrilled you got to spend time with him. You are both angels and both very blessed to be a part of each others lives. Keeping sweet Jack, his family and you dear sweet Debra in my thoughts and prayers. Love to you@

Tracy said...

Oh Debbie,
Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and poignant story about Jack and how he has touched your lives. I don't even know what to say but I do know that Jack's life is defined by such purpose and graced with love that knows no bounds.
I will definitely go to Caring Bridges and leave Little Jack a note as well as his mom, her partner and his sister. Life is so very precious, especially when we can share it with angels.
love and hugs...

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