We will be going home at some point today (for about 10 days before being re-admitted for another round of chemo), they've not given me a discharge time, but it doesn't matter because I know tonight I will be in my own bed, and Ethan will be in his comfy crib. It's so odd what I find myself getting excited about lately.... I never gave any thought about how my own shower & towels felt, or how my own sheets/pillow feel when I crawl into bed, or how I used to wind down at night to a magazine or television show as I drifted off to sleep, my own kitchen, my own sofa and recliner chair, a mirror in the bathroom!.... each one of those things are basic comforts that I've grown to both miss and appreciate while Ethan and I have to be in the hospital. I never paid so much attention to things like that before, but man am I looking forward to all of them again!
This morning as I was feeding Ethan, a million thoughts were in my head. I started picturing Ethan at various stages of his life (6 years old, 16 years old, in college, out of college, etc...) and I started picturing people meeting him at those particular stages. I started to imagine that there could very well be many times in his life when people bump into him, find out his name and tell him how THEY prayed for him when he was a baby. I imagined someone telling him that his story and situation helped lead one of their friends or family members to the Lord. I imagined that the parents of his future wife could very well be aware of "Baby Ethan" and are right now praying daily for him, only to later find out that he would be the husband of their little girl. All of these things were painted so beautifully in my mind this morning.
I had many other thoughts about all kinds of different things about our situation. I remember when Ethan was first born and the weeks I was home with him before going back to work, I would pray over him - from head to toe - at his middle of the night feedings. I prayed God's protection of his brain, his eyes, his ears, his organs, his legs, his arms.... praying specific details as I went down the areas of his being. I prayed against disease and neurological problems. I prayed as detailed as I thought possible, thinking I had covered every base of my sons body and health in prayer. I had no idea at all that cancer was, at that time, swimming through his blood. I sometimes think, "Lord, why didn't you honor those prayers"... or "Why didn't I pray better, or longer, or even more specifically", or "What was the point in my praying all of that each night if it didn't matter in the end".... And, as we all know, there are no answers (at least right now) to those questions or the hundreds of similar ones that float in and out of my mind. But there are times when you just try to grasp at ANY reasoning, anything at all, to help your mind reconcile that your precious little boy has leukemia. But the truth is he has it. We don't know why. We don't know for how long. And we don't know in all of the ways and areas mine and Adam's lives will be affected by this. As I was rocking Ethan this morning - after having thought about all of this for a while - again, I was reminded this is out of my hands. All of life is really out of our hands. We can make decisions about what we want to major in when we go to college, or what kind of job we want to accept, or even where we want to spend our money... but the core of life is really completely out of our control. No one wants cancer, autism, heartache, pain, lies, tragedy, poverty, confusion etc. in their lives.... but they exist.... and often unexpectedly. So the natural question is - why? Why do these things pop up in our lives and seem to wreck our hopes/dreams/desires? I think the hardest answer that you have to come to terms with is that an answer is not always immediately evident. I don't know why my son was chosen to have infant cancer in the form of a rare leukemia. I don't know why my husband and I have been chosen to endure this trial for the immediate future and for years to come.
But I do believe that one day we will know.
I've not known much tragedy - if any - in my life up to this point, but I have had my share of heartache. There was one particular point in my life that a time of surreal heartache entered quite unexpectedly. While, at the time, it made no sense to me that my world was all of sudden turned upside down... years down the road, everything did make sense. God had a different direction for my life than I understood at the time. And in order to move me into His plan, I had to endure some confusion and pain. I didn't know at the time why everything I didn't want to happen was happening, but in the end, life was truly better than I had originally planned. That's what I believe will happen now with Ethan's situation. I don't know why Ethan has cancer and I never know what our life is going to look like from day to day, but I do know that the God who allowed me to experience pain before, brought me out of it to an even better place. And He will do it again.... He has to. This is my son. This is the life He brought me to. This is the life He wants me to have. This is the life I was created to live. And when the time is right, He will reveal complete joy and understanding... just as He has done before.
I could say so much more this morning. So many more thoughts in my mind... but I'll save them for another day. In the mean time, I will close with another THANK YOU to all of the thousands of people who daily pray for our little man. I could not do this without you. There are many days that I start to pray and... nothing. Nothing can come out of my mouth or my mind because there's just so much.... but in those moments, I am at ease and I allow myself to sleep, because I know you are praying on my behalf. YOU are praying the prayers and pleading with the Lord when I don't have the strength to do so. I cannot thank you enough for that blessing.
Big Hugs being sent your way today.