She's been his mother for just 14 years.
Not so long ago, she probably rubbed her round belly and said, "I can't wait to meet you, my baby boy." Maybe she dreamed of what he would look like, but I bet she never guessed he'd have such beautiful dimples.
Not so long ago, she probably cried when the doctors placed him...wailing and wet...in her arms and said, "It's a boy!" Maybe she counted his fingers and kissed his toes and quietly said a prayer of thanks for his safe delivery.
Not so long ago, she probably bit her nails nervously as she watched him learn to walk. She probably moved anything and everything that might cause him harm. Maybe she flinched when he stumbled and fell, but she stayed in her seat....knowing that he had to learn by trial and error.
Not so long ago, when he had a nasty cold, she probably stood over him one night to be sure that he was sleeping soundly. Maybe she touched his head to see if the fever had subsided.
Not so long ago, she probably slapped her forehead and asked, "How can those pants be too small already?! I just bought them last month!" Maybe she wondered if his growth spurts could slow down just a little bit because it's so expensive to buy new clothes every month!
Not so long ago, she probably kissed his knee to make it "all better" and offered a band-aid to cover the fresh boo-boo. Maybe she dried his tears with the extra tissue that every Mom carries in her pocket.
Not so long ago, she probably rubbed his back while a stomach virus wreaked it's havoc. Maybe she repeatedly offered him something bland to eat, in the hopes that he would finally be able to hold it down. And maybe she held her nose and gritted her teeth in frustration as she washed the 5th set of barf-covered sheets in one day.
Not so long ago, she probably softly touched his dimples and told him, "You'll always be my baby." Maybe he rolled his eyes and heaved an embarrassed sigh.
Not so long ago, the doctors said, "It's cancer." Maybe she kept up a brave face for him that day...and maybe she sobbed and screamed and cursed into her pillow that night while her heart broke in half.
And........someday soon, she'll probably rub his back when the chemo causes his stomach to lurch. She'll probably kiss his hand to make it "all better" after the IV has been put in. She'll probably hold a cool washcloth to his forehead because she wants to do something...ANYTHING...to make him feel better. She'll probably watch him sleep and beg for the medications to do their job. Maybe she'll secretly count how many bites of food he eats and be ecstatic to discover that he took in 3 more bites than yesterday. Maybe she'll tell her husband, "I promise to never get upset when he outgrows his clothes because it only means that he's healthy and growing and strong." Maybe she'll find love, friendship, and support in unexpected places. Maybe her strong faith will be tested as she angrily asks, "Why?!"
Hopefully, someday soon, the doctors will say, "It's in remission." Maybe she'll bite her nails nervously when he's finally well enough to return to school, but she'll say nothing because she is overjoyed that this day finally arrived. And before he leaves the house, maybe she'll softly touch his dimples and say, "Whether you're 14 or 34 or 64, you'll always be my baby."
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If you're a person who believes in prayer, there is a family who could use your help. If you believe in good vibes, please send them. If you want to cross your fingers and think good, healing thoughts...go right ahead. They need all of it. They're now part of a club that no parent should ever have to be in.