Every now and then I hear a story that sets me back, puts me a frame of mind that is very reflective, and it makes me wonder. Today I heard one of those stories.
If you were a parent, if you are a parent, how would you feel if your son was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 16? How would you deal?
I am not a parent so I can only begin to wonder how it is to experience such a tough situation for someone you love so dearly. I have always felt that my role as patient was ideally suited for me as I was the most active participant, so to speak. A little while ago I wrote a pretty honest message about the harm that was done to a loved one of mine, and it was pretty obvious to me that I was really having trouble with the fact that the most I could do was listen, comfort, and assure that things will be fine. How tough must it be for parents to see one of their own go through the struggles associated with a cancer diagnosis? I empathize with that position but hope that I will never be able to truly understand, which feels weird to write.
My best answer to those questions, is “horrible” and “as best I can.”
If you were a parent, a friend, a relative of a young man who was diagnosed with cancer and died just five months after diagnosis, how you would you feel? How would you deal?
I’ve never been a parent or a relative of anyone in that situation, but the friendship role I have some experience with and it was tough. I find that I especially have a connection to those who are young and have been diagnosed with cancer. I have also felt that each time a young cancer buddy has died it really challenges me to think about my own situation in a different way.
While the friendship role is so important I have to feel that most often the parent-child relationship is on another level entirely.
My best answer to the next set of questions, is “horrible” and “as best I can.”
If you were a parent whose son died at 16 and less than five years later, your wife was killed in a very sudden and tragic accident, how would you feel? How would you deal?
My best answers are “numb” and “I have no idea.”
The final details of this story I only heard today, the first part I was around for in some small way. Hearing this today really left me in a state of shock and wonder. It left me with that question I have posed to you. How would you deal?
As many challenges as I have had, I’ve always felt there are so many others who have experienced far greater challenges than I. Today reaffirmed that so strongly. I am a true believer that everything in our life, all the good and bad, happens for the right reason. However upon hearing this story I really found that I had trouble, and still have trouble, moving my mind past the question of how I would deal.
I have reached the point where I’ve begun to think about the challenges we face and the reasons behind them. The thought of how fleeting this life can be is another idea that runs around my mind. Funny how the things we can be so attached to can disappear so quickly with what seem to be random acts. I don’t believe any act is random, but the purpose behind some are a challenge for me for sure. Today has presented another one of those challenges and made me that much more appreciative of where I am and how I am. It has also left me in awe of those who have lived these challenges.
The human spirit is something special.
Live life. Love life.