|One child lost is too many,
One child saved...
Can change the World.
|Why do you call them "My Kids"?
|When my daughter was diagnosed, my world fell apart. All of your hopes and
dreams for your child are instantly destroyed. All you can imagine is death,
loss, and emptiness. What you eventually come to learn...is LIFE.
Once you join the fraternity of pediatric cancer, you realize how many things in
your life before cancer - DON'T MATTER ANYMORE. Your family and friends may
be wonderfully supportive, but often - the only people you feel you can truly
relate to are other cancer families. (or other medical families) Its difficult to
describe. Banal conversations of color schemes, or sales reports, cannot hold
a place of importance in your world - when you're scheduling radiation, or
attending a child's funeral.
As I became more ensconced in our new world, I began to see all of the
children on our floor as "mine". I knew the pain and anguish in those parents'
hearts - it lived in mine as well. I understood the rapturous joy in a simple
smile from a child - I, too, had watched my daughter breathe in her sleep
begging God for one more smile. Their children were my children, because
they were me - and their child was my child. None of us knew this was coming,
none of us asked for this. The day before diagnosis, all of our children were
"normal". The day after diagnosis, our normal changed forever. Is this making
Moms of girls bond with other moms of girls, because they face the same
hurdles. Moms of athletes bond with moms of other athletes, because they
understand the time and physical commitments their children endure. With
cancer, that bond runs especially deep. Our children are different ages, races,
sexes, and socio-economic brackets, but we all fight the same Beast. We battle
demons of origins we cannot fathom. We inflict pain and suffering on our
children - to keep them with us. We face Death, and scream at him to leave us
alone. Sometimes we win, sometimes we don't. We are forever bound by the
knowledge of both.
These kids are My Kids. Their victories make my heart sing, and their pain
makes my soul ache. Each of them has intimate knowledge of universal truths
that adults spend a lifetime learning. Cancer kids learn to live in the moment.
They accept their treatments, but don't dwell in them. They live with pain, but
don't surrender to it. They enjoy their gift of life - without even recognizing it.
Cancer children are some of the most life-affirming souls you will ever meet.
They embrace their existence.
My heart wish is to introduce you to My Kids. They could easily be yours.
Cancer knows no boundaries; it strikes without reason, it strikes without
justification. Our children were your children before they were attacked by the
beast. They played, they dreamed, they lived happy. If you can find it in your
heart to embrace them as your own...you can help them continue to play, dream
and LIVE. Our children are not sad, our children are not to be pitied. They are
strong, resilient, and some of the bravest warriors the world has ever imagined.
Please, take a few minutes to "meet" some of my kids. Find your own son or
daughter within them...then hold your children close and appreciate today.
- Alicia Hall