“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” – Meister Eckhart
As many things have been this year hard to go through; this, of course, it one of them. The infamous year of firsts is finding it’s way towards the end and I am finding that there is a heaviness on the horizon. This time last year my son was doing well, good spirits and given what he was going through, strong. Little did we know that this would be the last month for us to enjoy the sense of peace that had crept quietly into our lives. Tucker was nearly done with his intensive treatment, we were moving into maintenance in the next month, we had stayed the course, fought the dragon, we could see that there was a light at the end of the tunnel and we were moving faithfully towards it. None of us had forgotten that we were still fighting for Tuck’s life but we finally weren’t white knuckling it and holding our breath all of the time. It seemed that everything was going as planned. Little did we know that there was a sharp corner that lay ahead on our path. One that would plunge us down a steep and slippery slope where not only were we white knuckling it and holding our breath again. We were stiff armed, eyes squinted, wincing as we recoiled from the impending doom. All the while making deals with God for a miracle while bracing for the inevitable crash that would come from anything thing that found itself careening out of control. Which suddenly became our lives, all of our lives.
So as the beauty of fall is in full swing I am trying not to look ahead too far, staying in the moment and not dwell on the fact that in the next month we will have found ourselves back at the beginning of the end. Back to the day when we heard the word relapse and no other options. Where I begged Tucker’s Oncologist not to give up while tears streamed down my face and anger poured out of me. A clinical trial with unknown prognosis found it’s way onto the table in a hail-mary attempt to find anything that would work and stem cell transplant, although risky and with a low chance of cure, became our last ditch effort as a way to stave off the inevitable and buy us some time. A year later and suddenly the year of first times without Tucker starkly shows itself to be the year of the lasts as well. Being reminded of the last time with Tucker is a ritual that finds its way into every event and holiday. This was the last month Tucker was in remission, was the last time we gather together with family to give thanks and have a Thanksgiving feast. The last month that we enjoyed the sense of peace that had crept quietly into our lives.
The thought of finding anything to be thankful for its a daunting task. Not impossible, necessary really but daunting to say the least. I find that as the weight of this last year covers me, it takes a concentrated effort to pull back the blanket of sadness and keep looking for things that are good in my life. I still find myself in some level of shock that Tucker really isn’t here with us. That he won’t be coming home from school or to the dinner table. That I don’t need to buy his favorite brands at the grocery store or the perfume dye-free laundry soap for his sensitive skin.
I am thankful for memories…they are a sweet dessert and the end of a decadent meal. I cherish and relish every one…even the bad ones, the tough times but especially the ones that we are laughing and smiling, when life was good. Good without looking for it good. Because after all…life is good. Right?! I have to keep reminding myself of that everyday, sometime with tears streamed down my face and anger pouring out of me. And that although the landscape of my life has dramatically changed, I still hope for a good one. So I am thankful for the people in my life that do their part to understand, brighten my days and quite simply do not forget about me, about Brady and, of course, about Tucker.