They put on the mask and clip it to the table.
He lies there so still.
I touch his leg and pray.
Red beams emit from the wall as they align the marks.
The radiation is very specific.
I swallow as they get everything prepared.
We leave the room and a door closes; almost like the bat cave wall.
Thick; protecting us all.
But what about him?
We are able to see him on the monitor.
And I choke back the sobs that threaten to come.
How can this be?
Why do parents have to watch their kids endure this?
Why do I have endure this?
There is a child advocate with us.
I breathe steady breaths.
The kids are with us today.
I need to be strong.
But really there is nothing strong in me. Because I am weak. I am tired and frankly; I am worn.
We head over to the infusion center.
Now that he has had radiation that needed a thick wall to separate us, we’re going to have toxic cocktails leeched into his system.
And I ponder the alternative.
The child advocate stays with us for awhile.
She lets us sit in a room and it’s nice to be together as a family.
The kids laugh and play with play dough.
And I think it could be so much worse.
We could have to be in Boston, like a friend of mine.
How would we survive?
I thank God right there for the blessing of having us all together.
And I march down to get myself a Latte;
because a friend has made sure we have access to food at the hospital.
(is coffee considered a food?)
The 2 little girls spend all day with us.
They are so good.
I tell them so; repeatedly.
They want to go home.
I tell them, sometimes we have to do hard things.
Right now, it’s just about being here for dad.
Just being present.
Ana gets it. She looks at me with those big blue eyes and smiles.
Sometimes it’s not about us.
We head home to a messy house, laundry, dirty dishes and family.
To a wonderful step daughter and her husband.
Her husband that puts up with so much and brings such encouragement.
To the sweetest of babies;
and to extended family who bring food and laughter.
I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word.