She sits in a tiny chair by the back door watching the rain come down. The sky is dark and the water thick but she has found something in the creek that she wants more of. She leans in, hands pressed upon the glass, until she can see it. It’s ducks. Baby ducks.
With excitement she jumps from her chair and runs full steam ahead towards her room. She comes back, shoes on, umbrella in hand. “I’m going out there,” she says, not asking.
Her steps are cautious on the slick wood of the deck and the soggy grass of our yard. They are full of care but they are full of intention. They are deliberate and precise.
When she finally arrives at the edge of the creek she stands ever so still and watches. It is pouring harder now and the ducks flutter down the creek on their way. From where I stand I cannot tell how many there are. Their bodies have no definition to me but fit together forming just a single unit. A train of innocence follows the mother wherever she leads. She guides them. Protects them. She cannot see what is beyond the next bend but she continues regardless. She must. Because that is what mothers do.
In only an hour Izzy and I will head to Cincinnati to begin the unholy process of ‘quarterly scans.’ She is beyond excited about having ‘sleep medicine’ two days in a row which I find more comforting than crazy. She used to fight going to sleep and fight waking up. She would cling desperately to me as her eyes began to close, screaming for me not to leave, then wake up hours later screaming again, not knowing who I was. After doing it a hundred or so times, we have landed upon the perfect cocktail of drugs to get her out quickly and wake her up slowly. We have made the unholiness manageable.
I would like to start this next paragraph out with a scripture I’ve been reading this week or something the Lord showed me in a dream but I’ve got neither. What I have instead is a paralyzing fear that makes it difficult to breath when I’m not trying. Shaking hands and a heavy pulse I can feel most everywhere.
The further away from treatment we get the harder it gets to go back. I never want to go back to what life was like Before. To see her in that suffering or to live in that unknowing. The thought of sitting in that radiology waiting room for hours on end, two days in a row…it makes me want to throw up. I would rather do most anything than sit in silence while someone else is looking into my daughter’s body. But I will. I will because I have to.
There is nothing in me that wants to pretend to be something I am not. Some days I walk forward with confidence and some days I drag my feet with every step. Some days I think that I can do anything, now that I have done this. Other days I remember that ‘this’ thing we’ve done has been redemptive. We’ve gotten the ‘happily ever after’ so far. How dare I think I could do anything when I have never done the thing that would be the hardest. To have to live without her.
There is a truth that the enemy has ensured is saturated in my blood stream, flowing to every place of my existence. That truth is that I do not personally know a family or a child that has made it this far with No Evidence of Disease. And I cannot help remembering it today as I prepare to walk in to that radiology department. In a culture of people longing for truth, real palatable truth that leads us towards freedom and wholeness, it is hard to not be governed by every truth we know. It is hard to remember, and even believe sometimes, that multiple truths can exist at the same time and on the same journey. But I am trying.
I am trying to remember that God is still God. Truth. I am trying to remember that Izzy’s destiny is not determined by radiology equipment. Truth. But mostly today I’m just trying to remember that the enemy does not dictate which truths I will embrace. Truth again.
With that said I will move forward with hope today, declaring blessings on you today and LIFE for my little girl.