Thursday, May 24, 2012
As you may already know, I am a mother to a superhero. My son Jackson, was diagnosed in the fall of 2009 with a rare form of juevnille scoliosis called Progressive Infantile Scoliosis. Upon hearing the news, our world shifted, our hearts cracked and our lives changed. No parent wants to hear that their child is nothing less than pefectly healthy or "normal". It is frightening and altering to not have control in the path of your young child and realizing the journey they'll have before them will be a rough and tumble with risks and fear.
From day one, upon having to watch the MRI techs and nurses wheel away our screaming son after they couldn't get the IV in his arm for his test, Jackson earned his title: Superhero Jackson. It was on that heartwrenching day his cape was symbollically draped upon his shoulders and his flight to conquer began.
Three years later, Jackson, still a superhero, stands straight in a brace reveling in his Superhero glory of success in beating the villain, Scoliosis. He is brave. He is strong. He is mighty.
But today, there is another superhero weighing heavy and everpresent in my thoughts and in my heart and in my mind. His name is Max... Mighty Max, that is.
Max is a brave little 3 year old boy in my neighborhood battling a rare form of liver cancer called hepatoblastoma. I do not know Max and have never had the pleasure of meeting him or his parents. My connection to this boy is simply being part of his neighborhood community rallying for his fight. My husband knows his father and has played poker with him, and I have seen and heard his mother speak ever-so-bravely on his behalf, but I am a stranger to this family.
But I am not a stranger to being a Mom of a boy who wears a cape.
Today is Max's surgery. The team of doctors will be removing his tumor and all signs of cancer in his littly body. The surgery started two hours ago. And so did the prayers. My mind has been distracted this morning with a constant pull in the direction of the hearts of those stoic parents. I wish today that I wasn't a stranger...for so many reasons.
I want to call them up or text them and find out how they're doing. I want to sit beside them while they painstakingly wait to hear news of how their superhero is doing and hold their hand and pray with them. I want to selfishly be a part of the information scoop so that I can breathe a little easier knowing he's okay. I want to look at Bea and tell her how proud I am of her for wearing the warrior paint of a Mom advocating and standing tall fighting for her baby when all she wants to really do is crawl up in a ball and cry for months...to realease all the bitterness or anger or fear she's held inside.
I have known dark days with Jackson's fight. But in recent months of being a part of the rally for Max...attending the St. Baldrick's event to support his family, in witnessing his friends and community pull together to throw him a HUGE carnival to raise funds to support his family, I have seen the darkest days we had with Jackson fade to gray.
It's humbling and almost unforgiving to have thought that my world was bleak and dark in the face of something not life-threatening my baby boy had to battle. Today I relish and marvel and praise God that it was ONLY Scoliosis. I have never dared to utter that thought on our journey and would have been appalled at anyone else for thinking it...until today.
Because today there is a little superhero, Mightier than all the rare villain diseases put together, I think, fighting for his life on a table in a hospital. There are two parents with unspeakable horror and fear praying so deeply to their core, with unimaginable thoughts and feelings I won't dare try to describe, waiting to hear how their baby is doing.
My thoughts continue to wander off to them....my heart is holding theirs in spirit and in friendship...with love they'll never know from this stranger who lives the next street over. I wonder how they're surviving this. I wonder if they have coffee. I wonder if they can breathe. I wonder if they feel the love...the prayers...the power of the pull their community is sending and lifting up to the heavens for their superhero.
If you are reading this now, please...pause...stop. Take a silent moment and do this right now:
Say a prayer to whomever you pray to that something miraculous and magical happen on that table today.
Send love...love...love..and positive energy and light to Max and to his beautiful parents.
Go find something green (his fight color) and hold it or wear it with pride and power and presence.
Max, You are a superhero. You are Mighty and you are wrapped in love. We are lifting you up, buddy. And I can't wait to meet you soon and marvel at your beauty and your strength and witness you soar above the clouds with YOUR cape billowing behind you as you conquer YOUR villain.