Tuesday, 27 March 2007

When the world stops spinning

A friend called yesterday; I mind her little boy on Wednesday mornings.
"How was your spring break?" I casually and innocently asked.
"Well...", she begins, "you have NO IDEA what we have been through", she says with a sigh of exhaustion.

What! Surely nothing worse than the events of the previous 6 months.

Seriously, this poor woman has run the entirety of fate's sinister gauntlet. Everything that could turn pear shaped and complicated in a persons life, seems to have in hers. I simply have to shake my head in wonder and think, "what is going on here?" She is just having the worst possible time at the moment.

She is going through a divorce. She is raising three kids, aged 2-7 years in a tiny two bed apartment. She studies full-time. She works part time four days a week. The secondhand car she bought broke down a week after she bought it, costing her $1500 to fix - money she didn't have. Her 19 year old cousin died in a vehicle accident, then her brother died in a logging accident. She has had to work with all sorts of obstacles, so many that I think I would be a nervous wreck at this stage of the game, if I were her. "So", I think "what has happened NOW!"

"Boyd was in the hospital for the first 5 days of spring break"
"What the hell happened?" I asked, I had just seen him earlier in the day, with his Dad.
"Well, the doctors thought he had leukemia".
WHAT! I was absolutely floored - stunned.
She then went on to tell me about their five day horror of an ordeal; fearing the worst; being told, by doctors, to prepare for the worst. She told me how scared she was, and how heart breaking it was to have her son transferred to the oncology department; to see all those weak and terribly sick little children. She told me that Boyd was traumatised by the daily taking of blood, screaming for a half hour, after the fact, on the first day and then by the fifth, screaming for mercy and crying for the nurse to get it over with, quickly, and that he was moments away from receiving a blood transfusion, since his platelets had dropped to 30. When I asked how he coped with his ordeal, she said that he had woken nightly, screaming in terror. Poor little guy.

He is such a lovely boy - large gentle doe-like eyes; the clearest blue, like glacial ponds they are; and he has a mass of white golden curls haloing his head like an angel. He loves his super heroes, especially Batman. I hoped an invisible, winged warrior was by his side, fighting with him, championing him to get well again; I rather think there might have been.

Praise the Lord. It was found that he didn't have Leukemia after all, but instead, had an extreme reaction to Glandular Fever - of all things. His mother expressed her utter joy with the news, and then acknowledged her instant guilt, since she was standing in the oncology department of a Children's Hospital, where such miraculous hopes would not be forth coming, for the majority of children and worry stricken families, surrounding her. But still, she was beyond relieved to take her dear boy home at the end of the fifth day.

Unfortunately, Boyd is not out of the woods yet. He is still enduring a battery of test, since his reaction was so unusual and extreme. He is still very weak, and though he went to pre-school yesterday, he had to rest for the remainder of the day. So with fingers firmly crossed and prayers abound, I hope for little Boyd and his family, that his sickness, will come down to being one of those mysterious events that sometimes occur in our lives, to ensure we are present and passionate participants in life. Please God, say it is so. Let there be only health and happiness to come for this family.

I know I looked into my children's eyes a little longer just now, and sat with them long after they had falling asleep last night, and gave them a tighter squeeze when they run up for a hug when they awoke. Our own lives may be long, but our time with those we love, is so short.


Jay said...

You are just never prepared for stuff like that. I'm glad that the worst has not been realized, and that his recovery is speedy.

Kimberly said...

I'm often struck by the bittersweetness of this life of ours, and you captured and expressed it beautifully. I'm going to hug my girls a little more tightly today as well.

shishyboo said...

love your use of expression in this piece, especially about being a present and passionate participant in life.

Kathleen said...

I agree with shishyboo's comment on your post.
And we will be keeping that dear woman and her children in our prayers. Let us know how he's doing...

scribbit said...

How horrible for her. Doesn't it make you wonder why some people seem to have such a bucket of bad come their way sometimes? My sister's gone through a similar gauntlet and my husband and I shake our heads and say, "Why them?" They could use a break in life right now.

Tracey said...

It doesn't seem fair... When you hear stories like that, it does make you take a step back and thank your lucky stars for the good fortune you have had in your own life so far...

As always you write so beautifully, strauss... which adds even more poignance to the situation. I will be thinking of your friends...