Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Blessed, even if I don’t remember it

I’m linking up today with Pour Your Heart Out Wednesday with Shell!

Over the last few days, a woman who I consider a dear, dear friend has been re-living what she dealt with 5 years ago this week.

She was fighting to save her daughter.

Before she was three, Colette had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer of the nervous system. Her May, 2005 diagnosis led to surgery, months of chemotherapy, and finally, in that first week of December, a stem-cell transplant.

My heart broke for a family, terrified, facing unknown battles. For a little girl, only a few months younger than my own E, who would spend Christmas in a hospital, isolated, while her family prayed the stem cells would graft in, and her body would begin to heal.

As I read over the CaringBridge posts from 5 years ago, I remember sitting in tears at my computer. I remember praying as hard as I had ever prayed for God to heal that little girl.

Blood transfusions. Feeding tubes. Central lines. Stem cell transplants. Chemotherapy. Radiation. Surgeries. All at a hospital 5 hours from home.

She was three. years. old.

For Christmas, they put a sparkly pink tinsel tree in her room. Many of us sent gifts. We left notes of support and prayer on her page.

We loved her.

And we still get to.

This is Colette in October. Notice her hearing aids. The substantial loss in hearing she has is a direct result of the chemotherapy. That’s because pediatric cancer research is sorely underfunded, and often, adult treatments are used to fight childhood cancers.

They aren’t sure if Colette will ever have children, the impact on her reproductive system is unclear at this stage. The risk of secondary cancers for her is high as a function of the treatments she received to fight the neuroblastoma.

Here’s the part where I pour out my heart.

I have three healthy kids. I’m so incredibly blessed, even when they are driving me crazy. There are days when I forget that.  When I yell at them, not because they’re being ridiculous, but because I don’t have the patience for the silliness at that moment. When I’m frustrated that they aren’t trying hard enough on a homework assignment, and I lose track of the fact that they are healthy enough to go to school every day.

I lose sight of how lucky I am.

And then, I feel that much worse when I’m short with them. When I’m impatient. When I’m harsh.

We spend so much time and energy focusing on outward appearances, we lose sight of what we have right here in front of us. We become so overwhelmed by work, chores around the house, social engagements, volunteer work, even things like blogs, we miss the miracles that happen every day.

Or maybe that’s just me.

And that? That’s the part that scares me the most. The part where you go “Am I the only one? Are there other mom’s who feel that way too? Or is it really JUST me?”

And then you get into a spiral of feeling like a mom-failure.

As I re-read Tammy’s thoughts, fears, prayers from those terrifying days five years ago, I am reminded of just how lucky I am. And how much I need to remember that.

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  1. I'm crying. I need to remember this, too. How silly all the little annoyances really are b/c they are nothing in the grand scheme of things.

  2. I can't stop the tears, but I can tell you, you are not the only one who takes for granted her blessings. I am highly guilty of this same act.

  3. Hi, I found you from Shell’s site.

    Wow Megan. None of us recognize how blessed we are. NONE OF US. I think God hearts the ones who realize this – THAT WE DON’T REALIZE THIS. I’ve been reading through all the blogs on Shell’s pour your heart out blog list, the depth of the emotion is unbelievable – and this includes your words too now. Wow. All I can say. Wow.

    God Bless you and yours

  4. I'm making my way through the pour your heart out linky.

    I'm in tears, such heartache and sadness. Reading something like that puts everything in perspective. All the little annoying things that drive me crazy, I actually take for granted and never realized. Makes you think, that's for darn sure.

  5. well, I finally got on facebook tonight...and wouldn't you know it, we just returned from a Gulf Coast Christmas rehearsal where we will hold up cardboard testimonies: my sign says "2 yr old diagnosed with stage 4 cancer", Jason's sign says, "33 % survival rate", then I flip mine over to read "Healed within 1 year", and Jason's flipside says, "Now she's LIVING for Jesus" and then she will run up on the stage with us and jump in our arms! All the while the soloist is singing, "remembering what He's done, the victories He's won, so I praise Him...I praise Him, for what He's done for me, redeemed and set me free, and because, just because, He's God"

    I'll try to get a video for you this year ;)

    Thank you for sticking with us since 2005! Love you!

  6. I am Colette's great-aunt, lol yea I'm great too. Colette is a miracle, a walking, talking, laughing, being a silly kid, miracle. To know her is to be blessed. You wonder why God allows this to happen to some families???? God knew all about the Pate and Crocker families, He knew that they would give Him ALL the Glory for Colette's miracle healing. In return He would receive the Praise, Honor, and Glory for what He has done.This child is a testimony to our awesome God. Love Him lean on Him and tell Him all your hurts and happinesses. Let Him wrap His arms of love around you, anywhere anytime.

  7. Ya hit the nail right on the head. You're not alone in this "failure" thing. I do it too, lose site of what's really important. And then, yeah, I feel all frustrated and then I apologize and start all over again.