Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What really matters...

Last week I received an email that I will never forget. I was actually sleeping at the time (very deeply for a change) and for some strange reason my eyes popped open, I rolled over, grabbed my phone and noticed there was a new email. It was 12:30am and normally I wouldn't even bother checking it, save it for the morning, but something inside me told me I needed to read this one. It was from a dear friend of mine and the subject line read: Connor. Tears began pouring down my face as soon as I started reading it. It was one of those moments when the whole world seemed to stand still. Connor is my friend Wendy's son. He and his twin sister Rylee just turned 7 and my kids ADORE THEM. In fact, Baylie decided at the ripe old age of 3, that she's going to marry Connor. And even though she's met a ton of other boys in our circle of friends, she still says Connor's the ONE. Honestly, he's cute as a button, so who could blame her?

Baylie, Connor, Rylee & Jake


Wendy's email explained that Connor had been diagnosed with Cancer. More specifically, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma). At that moment, it felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room. I couldn't go back to sleep and all I wanted to do was go, wake up my kids, hold them tight and tell them how much I loved them. 

You see, that very night before I put my kids to bed, they were acting like crazy people. I'm sure we've all been there. My husband was out of town, so I was holding down the fort and I was TIRED! So I remember standing in the hall outside their bedrooms telling them how things were gonna change around here starting tomorrow! (Cue the CRAZY MOM - hmm, wonder where they get it?!) In my best drill sergeant voice I told them they were going to wake up, brush their teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, ALL THEIR BREAKFAST, with NO horsing around...YADDA, YADDA, YADDA...BLAH, BLAH, BLAH (I'm sure that's how it started to sound to them as I went on and on).

After reading Wendy's email, I wanted to take it all back. After all, they're kids, they are supposed to act crazy. I know they need boundaries, believe me, I'm all about setting boundaries, but sometimes I think I expect TOO much from them. They are only 4 and 6...and good or bad...they won't be this age forever.  

I can't imagine sitting in a room with a doctor hearing that my child has been diagnosed with cancer. Nothing else would matter. And it could happen to any of us, at any time. None of us know how much longer we are going to have together. So from now on, I'm going to try my best, in every moment, to remember the lesson I learned while reading Wendy's email: 

WHAT REALLY MATTERS?

To me it's these precious moments, these CRAZY, "I-CAN'T-BELIEVE-YOU-JUST-DID-THAT", AMAZING, FUN, MEMORABLE, MESSY, NON-SENSICAL, HYSTERICAL, "COULDN'T-HAPPEN-AT-A-WORSE-TIME" moments with my kids and my amazing family and friends. And I'm going to try to make sure to cherish every second and thank God every day for answering my prayers.

If you'd like to follow Connor's Journey, his family has set up a website: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/friendsofconnor



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