It doesn’t care about your future goals.
It doesn’t care that you someday want to see your child get married.
It doesn’t care about your family.
It doesn’t care about your mind, body, or soul.
My (newly six year old) daughter said it the best the other night as she cried herself to sleep:
“Cancer is a monster. A monster that doesn’t care about anything.”
Cancer has hit too close to home for B and I. Someone beautiful, strong, and brave is, according to the doctors, “losing her battle with cancer.” We will call her “Our Mermaid” to maintain her privacy. We will call her Our Mermaid because I have never met someone who loves the ocean as much as she does. Almost every time we spoke she talked about the ocean and the beautiful beaches she has visited. I often got a sense that she felt free on a boat our with her toes in the sand. Our Mermaid is brilliant, strong, and strong-willed. She is fighting… fighting harder than I have ever seen someone fight for something.
She has, for most of my life, lived in a different state so we aren’t extremely close but since her battle with cancer began in October of 2014, she moved with my parents so they and her sister here can support her through her battle and we have gotten closer. I treasure this because I have gotten to know her a little better. (And as I write this– I see the word “battle.” I don’t even think that word expresses what cancer does to someone. WAR. War expresses it better. Someone who has cancer is in a full-out WAR with the monster that is cancer.) Not only did I get to be closer to her, but B did as well. Our Mermaid’s face lights up when she sees B. She actually calls her B and rarely by her full name. They like to talk fashion, shopping, and eating non-GMO (yes, my kid is all about that non-gmo or organic label). Our Mermaid is often cold because of her war so you can usually find her snuggled up with a big comfy blanket on the couch. This is like an open invitation to B because there are few things she likes more than a big snuggly blanket to share with someone so they like to sit on the couch together snuggled in a big blanket. Another thing they share together is their love of music. We once broke out into a full out dance party on Thanksgiving and I remember looking over at Our Mermaid, so thin and frail yet strong as all heck, got up and danced when Sam Smith’s “Latch:” came on. In her soft sweet voice she said, “I love this song,” and she closed her eyes and danced.
It was just a few weeks ago that the doctors told us there is nothing more that they could do for her. It was a few weeks ago everything changed. Family members are constantly visiting, everyone is coming and going, and everyone is there for one another. We all rally around her… hold her hand, kiss her, talk to her, tell her she is beautiful…
Everyone has come together as a family to get through this.
B’s heart is so big. She feels so deeply that she cries often. The other night she cried for an hour and a half. She cried so hard that her eyes were puffy the next morning. Through her sobbing I heard things like, “It is just too hard to let go… It is too hard to say good-bye… I just can’t let go… I feel so bad for everyone… She has too much things to do still… “
Add to the list: Cancer doesn’t care about little girls who love big.
When I let her Tia know that night what B was going through, she called her right away and prayed over her and helped comfort her. After that phone call, B fell asleep cuddled up next to me and quickly fell asleep. The next morning, she was feeling better and I was feeling worse. My heart was heavy… B noticed this and said, “Mommy, let’s think of happy things about Our Mermaid.” I did. It helped.
It is in times like these that you need your family. You must come together to support one another. I am so so grateful that we do this. I am so glad that we care deeply for one another. It makes me so proud to be apart of this family. This family is a big mix of people that is not made up of just genetics but of people choosing to be family despite the lack of DNA similarities. My Dad chose to be my Dad twenty four years ago and with that I have been apart of this beautiful family that has come together to be there for one another.
I have not given up hope. I believe in miracles but if God decides he wants Our Mermaid home– It will hurt. Bad. But I am grateful we have each other to hold until we reunite again.
Our Mermaid always signed off with “Oceans of Love.”
So I wish to you, oceans of love and happiness to you and yours and thanks for reading!