God loves to teach me lessons. I think he teaches us all lessons but right now I’ll just stick with me. I have this friend from high school. She and I weren’t the best of friends but she was one of those people where you looked up to them because of how amazing of a person they are. I used to know her brother too, who was just an amazing being. I was closer to him. But She was also someone where….if you heard someone say something mean about them…You’d KNOW in a second that it wasn’t true just because they were a very good soul.
She’s in a similar boat as I am, being blessed with 5 children. She has a wonderful loving husband and great family support. What makes her different? Her third born is in her second bout with Childhood Cancer.
Hazel was first diagnosed with Stage 3 Neuroblastoma when she was 2. She was in remission and then it came back in August of 2016. You can read her story here. Lauren, my high school friend and her mother. began the journey of being a mother, nurse, and lord only knows what else after that. I’ve told her a few times now that she has been such a spiritual rock for me because no matter what was sent her way, she prayed her way through it and believed that God was with her. And He is. Shes such an inspiration and just amazes me every day. Please follow her story on her Facebook Page.
Now you may be asking yourself where is my lesson. Well there are two actually that I was reminded of this week alone.
1. I am blessed to be able to spend time with my children and see their milestones.
This one is a big one. During Hazel’s first cancer battle, Lauren was with her much of the time. Just like I would be with one of my children if they were sick. Not every child is fortunate to have that. Lauren comforts children who do not have their parents with them during their stay at the hospital as well. One of my sons was in the hospital when he was ten months old, for about 4-5 days and just coordinating child care and getting there and back and what not was difficult. Could you imagine months to a year of that? Her fourth child was already born but very young and she missed much of his first year due to this. That makes my heart ache for her. As a mother, I know she will feel guilt and sorrow over this. Just think about it. Not being able to see your child’s many milestones….and all of those precious moments missed. Makes me tear up just thinking about it.
During this second bout, just recently this week, Hazel ran a random high fever that threw her back into the hospital on her older sister’s 8th birthday. Now mind you, while her siblings understand what is going on…..it does hurt them and upset them that their mother and sister can’t be there for things that are important sometimes. It is a fact of Childhood Cancer. It’s a fact of life if you have a family member with cancer. To miss things is one of the greatest evils. Something else people don’t realize…is that when you have long health bouts like this. you begin to form a type of PTSD. I am told often that what I went through with my miscarriage (you can read about that here) lead to a form of PTSD for me. So imagine what kind of psychological effects are caused when you go through what they have. A hospital will never be seen like how a normal person may see it. I know I don’t view them as all good. SO I can’t begin to think about how they must see it. For Lauren to constantly be so strong even when she doesn’t feel up to it ….just thinking about it truly makes me feel so small with my little worries.
2. For me, one of the biggest frustrations of my every day right now is probably the Attitudes my children convey as preteens and around 3 years old. Or the way they speak to each other. Or how they don’t clean up their everyday messes. Or how they don’t do the chores they are supposed to do before they go out to play. How they don’t listen for the fiftieth time since they got home 30 minutes ago. But honey….let me tell you something. My children, besides an odd cold or something fixable like needing speech therapy, are healthy. God reminded me this week that if these are my major worries….if these are the hardest things I have to deal with this week…..I AM BLESSED. Shame on me for making this be my biggest worry. Shame on me for not being grateful instead of focusing on these messes…at least my children have energy and time and spirit to make these messes. And I hate it for Lauren. I cried twice this week alone just for the things they are dealing with and how selfish I had been. I bet Lauren would give anything to have these worries I have and only these worries.
But Lauren has taken one of the sourest lemons God has to offer and is turning it into lemonade as we speak. She brings so much awareness to Childhood Cancer that it’s not even funny. Not only does she help plan the St. Baldrick’s Ball but she even helps on efforts such as this one that help get funding for cancer research. Many of you have probably seen an image that was floating around on Facebook a few years ago that had tape on a window asking for Pizza to be sent to a room in the hospital….Did you know Lauren did this? It was even in a TV show! Here is the view from the inside of her room. If you search google you will find TONS of sites, including People that listed this story (see above photo)! So every little bit goes a long way!
So what this is teaching me are those two things. To be appreciative of even the things that annoy us as that means that our kids are blessed to not be fighting that battle. And, as well, to be thankful that I am given the time with my children that many can’t afford. Even as I sit here writing this and all of my children are asleep but my 3 year old who was watching a show, he came over to me and asked to sit in my lap and watch me type this up. Such a beautiful moment that I was given.
So I have determined that I will step up my mommy game. I will appreciate even more of what I am given. I will work on how showing the kids that life could be so different for them. My oldest has donated cut hair before to Wigs for kids and we have another package we need to mail off that has a few batches of hair as well. So I do try to talk with them as much as possible but I feel I can do more. So I started a page for a book drive where 100% of the donations will be given to buy brand new books for the Hospital where Hazel and other children like her are treated. Click Here to Donate Money for Hazel’s Book Drive. As always you can message me if you would like to personally choose some books and have them delivered to the hospital.
What will you do to help? Comment below and keep me updated!