Day 13 – Simplicity

Today is Day 13. Izzy remains mostly unchanged since my last entry. Her cells are coming in and there are small signs of progress but it is a slower process than we hoped. She’s awake now a few hours a day which is nice but she’s still too weak to get out of bed for anything, even to get on the scale. So we continue to wait. And to pray. It’s funny to me that we’re on Day 13 because she’s actually been in the hospital for twenty one days. Thirteen days inpatient isn’t too bad, but once you get around the three week mark it starts to wear on you. Everyday I see the number and I think, ‘How could we only be that far?’. I mean I get it, it’s thirteen days since the stem cells were placed. It just seems like a cruel lie.

I just got back from a long weekend home with Carter. At home I found a whole new whirlwind of emotions separate entirely from what I feel at the hospital. There was a comfort there and a peace. A sense of normalcy in doing dishes and making dinner. Until I saw it. I passed a picture of Izzy on the wall and my heart began to sink. Just a glimpse of her brilliant blue eyes and her soft blonde hair and I felt a pain so deep. It was such a stark contrast to her current state. The little girl in those pictures was innocent and free but the little girl I know has been forced to become a warrior. Thrown into a role no child should ever have to fill but so many do.

I’ve been taking Carter to the Lego Store on the weekends we spend together. It’s a special treat that he looks forward to and I don’t mind that it’s in the middle of the mall either. “Mommy, just needs to look at one more store and then we’ll get your Legos, I promise.” Okay, it’s a special treat I look forward to too. Saturday we went for our weekend outing and were both relishing in our purchases when I saw them. My heart sank once again. Three little girls skipped passed us on their way to the Build-A-Bear store for a birthday party, their hair bouncing on their shoulders. The frolicking by with laughter I could handle, but the bouncing hair sent me over the edge as I envisioned my own daughter lying in misery back in her hospital room. I saw their smiling faces and long hair and images of Izzy still throwing up blood flashed into my mind. I saw their matching bows and tights and I thought of Izzy’s skin beginning to peel off from head to toe from this last chemo. I am ashamed to say it, but I have never felt such anger at little girls as I did in that moment. I didn’t even know them or their stories and yet I assumed they led perfect lives. My eyes followed them as they disappeared into the crowd. Why did they get this delightful, innocent journey, while Izzy got a journey to Hell and back. I kept walking, the injustice heavy on my shoulders.

This is a picture of our backyard with the creek and woods behind our house. When we first moved in a few years back I fell in love with the solitude it offered. With it’s stillness. I had this illusion that if we moved here I could force simplicity into our lives. I was naive enough to believe I had that much control over the universe. Of course I quickly learned I did not. But for the first few years we spent countless hours watching the kids throw rocks into the creek and run along the bank chasing leaves. Izzy and I would take off our shoes in the summer and wade through, feeling the cold mud between our toes.

As I found myself staring out the back window this weekend, grasping for something in the stillness of the woods to dull the pain, I had a revelation. I got the simple life I wanted, it just cost more than I ever dreamed it would. Through this journey everything in my life has been hacked away so that the only things left of any real importance are the most basic, the most simple. Some of that has been hard, but the truth is some of it has been freeing as well. The day to day is complete chaos, but when it’s all said and done my mind is no longer cluttered with the ramblings of perfectionism or illusions of what life should be. It isn’t wrapped up in some unattainable ambition. Now my mind is free to focus on what truly matters, nothing less and nothing more. Before cancer I never had time to be still. But now, sitting in the hospital next to Izzy, I finally do. It took watching my four year old daughter fight like hell and wondering desperately if she’d win for me to finally stop overcomplicating life. I used to long for simplicity and I finally got it.

9 Replies to “Day 13 – Simplicity”

  1. I can’t stop the tears rolling down my face….. My heart hurts for you and your precious daughter .. And family. I am praying so hard!!!! God bless you!

  2. Simplicity – what everyone wants but we don’t all have to go through what you and your family are going through. I think if you and your family every single day and pray for you. I know He hears all of our prayers and He is there beside you all especially Izzy – taking care of her forever!!!

  3. Oh Molly, you are such an amazing lady! Don’t be ashamed or feel bad about the girls in the mall, seems very normal considering your circumstances for the time. I love you & will continue to pray, dear friend. As always, thanks for sharing & letting us in. Your ability to write is such a gift, and praying it is a great release/outlet for you.

  4. I was at the mall a few weeks ago, and passed The Disney Store and thought of Izzy. My thoughts were…why can’t Izzy be here, shopping? Having a fun day, instead of in the Hospital? I saw 2 little girls dressed up in Princess dresses looking so cute, and thought of our little Izzy Girl. It’s so hard to understand. But I do believe she will be shopping in the Disney Store one day soon! We tend to take so many things for granted. Praying for your little Princess everyday! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings. We love you guys!!

  5. dear Molly, my heart aches so for all of you, and you are constantly in our thoughts and prayers. i cant help but think of Job’s response in chapter 13:15 “Though He slay me, yet will I trust him” You and Izzy and family have done that.. I’m reminded of your “SHINE” post and your promise from God. He is always there. He knows what its like to watch his beloved child suffer.

  6. Hey there my new friend Audrey Taylor has told me of your story and continues to urge me to read you blog. Finally i did. I am in tears. It is amazing how God will use us at our most broken. He has used you to encourage me. We have had financial struggles that have devistated us this last 3 years and some hurts from the church and all along i told God as long as my babies don’t get sick i can keep going but even then i see God carries. I will join in the army that is praying for IZZY.

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