Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I've been avoiding posting because I've not wanted to report my bad news. It is the worst news of all. Many of you already know that my nephew, Carter, passed away last week. He was 2-1/2 and had neuroblastoma--a cancer as aggressive and as lethal as any I've heard of. As recently as December we were still hopeful for a cure but a scan revealed bone metastases and a later scan revealed that the primary tumor that had responded well to the first rounds of chemotherapy had regrown with a vengeance.
A bit over a week ago, I flew out to Seattle to visit Carter and his parents in the hospital. His little belly was swollen with tumor and he was having trouble breathing due to pressure on his lungs. Otherwise he seemed comfortable and in good hands. The hospital was tremendous through this ordeal--he was at Seattle Children's Hospital--and Carter's parents, my brother and sister-in-law were possessed of saintly patience and courage. Carter passed away the next day.
The funeral was the saddest I have ever been to. I'd guess there were around a hundred people present and I believe everyone was in tears throughout. Who couldn't cry when faced with bereaved parents and a tiny coffin? Just saying this is making me cry and I want to avoid that. There is a time and a place and I don't want to cry any more today.
Finally, I wanted to share something that I learned from this ordeal. I learned that a trial like this really does bring people together. It has brought to me in a much more immediate way the importance of family, friends and community. Even sharing with relative strangers, my blog and Facebook friends, some, people I have never met in person, has helped me cope and the support of everyone has been a source of comfort and carried me through these times. I know my brother and his family have had even more support and kindness over these past months and hope that it will help them heal as best they can.
Well, I had to get this over with. I intend to try to return to my regularly scheduled blog activities from here on in. Avoiding grief doesn't make it less, though and I couldn't move on with out ending Carter's story here.
These are the words that go through my head:
Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh -- Falls the night.
Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.
Then good night, peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright;
God is near, do not fear -- Friend, good night.