Saturday, October 25, 2008

Enduring Love

Over the last couple of days Henry's prevailing mood has been one of anxiety. We've begun his medicines and while we can't be certain, it's seems its been a signal to him that he's sick again. He cries and refuses the medicines and it's only with much coaxing and help from lorazepam that we're even able to get them into him. We haven't mentioned his 'cancer' per se, as we imagine that will imply the hospital and would therefor frighten him.

His comfort has been our presiding principle in this journey. We don't want him to be in any pain, we don't want him to be afraid. While we'd love for him to be energetic and playful all the time, it's simply not his reality right now. He sits a lot; stares out the window or blankly at the television. He picks at his mouth, habitually peeling dry bits of skin. He nibbles at his food sifting through his chips to find the ones that have the most barbeque on them.

When he does perk up it's like a ray of sunlight breaking through the clouds. This morning he finally played with his sister without either Tara or I nearby. It seems he requires our proximity. Of course, we feel similarly - one of us has been sleeping next to his bed each night - but it's not a sign of well being, but another sign of anxiety. For about an hour, he and Sophie played 'dolphin'. Her in the tub, Henry is the 'owner'. I'm not sure entirely what the game consists of aside from directing one another, but they enjoy it and that's fine by me.

We put our time and energy into so many things in life. When something like this happens, layers and layers of the less important things are peeled away. Folks are offering anything we need and honestly it's the care and friendship that's extended with each supporting word that we find most supportive right now.

In the coming days, weeks and hopefully months, we will strive to keep our eye on keeping Henry comfortable and showing him the love of his family and friends. In that interest we will attempt to parse out what truly matters. We've already been made to put aside our expectations of a healthy, strapping teenage boy coming in from school, we've had to discard our views of what childhood should mean to kids, and now we tentatively lay down our hopes for painless days ahead. These waves of loss, while difficult to weather, only come from an ocean of abundance. While we have and will lose much, we will hold on to what really matters - our enduring love for one another.


femail doc said...

Dennis Prager in "Happiness is a Serious Problem" has this to say about expectations:

[T]he Buddhist teaching is of universal importance. If we understand expectations to mean certitude that something will happen, that we can take the good we have for granted...then expectations lead to unhappiness....and undermine the most important source of happiness-- gratitude.

How hard to give up expectations. Thank you for sharing your family's journey; I wish you all peace, comfort, and happiness in the now.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully spoken.

Our thoughts and hearts are with you guys.

Wayne, Shirley, Sophia, and Fiona

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine what you all are going through, and I'm sure my imaginings fall far short of your reality. I am amazed at your ability to face each obstacle, each hour, each day, as they come. I don't believe that I'd be functional enough to find much meaning from such an experience; that you have found such meaning is transcendent, and that you've shared it with us here is a gift to those of us who log on regularly to check on you guys. I hope it gives you some comfort, as I'm sure it does for those who surround you and love you and support you. Each one of you is a true hero.

Daisha said...

Tara and family

My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. God bless


ms. t said...

There is simply no heart breaks.


Linda and Paul... said...

Our love, thoughts and prayers are with Henry and family (near and far)...Sincerely...Linda, Paul and Adam...

Anonymous said...

We shed tears with you but can not imagine what you are going thru.
There are no words except we love you all and you are constantly in our thoughts and prayers!
Thank you for taking time to update all of us.

Cousin Susan H. and family

Rachel said...

My heart aches for you and your family. I don't believe I can fully comprehend what you are going through right now, but my thoughts and prayers are with you.

I hope if I ever have to face a struggle like your family has, I have the same strength and courage you have shown.

May you find the comfort you seek in the coming days, weeks and months.

The Hebbs said...

We are thinking of you often every day. If there is anything at all we can do for you please don't hesitate to ask. Lindsey has our phone numbers. Watching the girls for you, errand runs...anything.

Sareen and Kevin Hebb

Justin said...

You are and have been firmly entrenched in our thoughts and prayers since Krista brought this to our attention last year. Keep strong, because through our Lord and Saviour all things are possible.

Justin and Kayla Sholes

Anonymous said...

Tara & Family,

There are no words to express for this type of news. Just know that you and your family are in my family's thoughts and prayers every day. The words written are beautiful as is your entire family. Stay strong and know that your friends and family will always be here to support you.

Lots of love and prayers,
Tanya Farris & Family

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you and your family as you go day by day with the doctors and nurses who are caring for Henry. My hope is that you will feel the loving arms of God around you at this time as they give you the strength to get you through these tough days. Our family, too, has been touched by cancer, but never a young child. God bless all of you.

Jocelyn Wetzel
Frederick, MD

Anonymous said...

Tara and Bryan,

My heart too is breaking for your whole family. The grace and strength you've exhibited over the past year has continued to amaze me. Henry is so lucky to have you as parents. My words cannot convey what I feel in my heart. Just know that the whole Blabolil family is thinking of you in Ohio-
Love, Sandee Blabolil Reim

Gina Householder said...

Dear Bryan and Tara,
Not a day goes by that I am not thinking about you and praying for your family. You both are so much stronger than I would be. I admire you both. If there is anything we can do please let us know. Thank you so much for keeping us informed and letting us know how you are doing. Talk to you soon.
Gina and Craig Householder