Tonight, I held my inconsolable son in my arms as he wept. We were in his room on his bed surrounded by Mario Brothers posters and other things the average nine-year-old boy might have in his room.
An average nine-year-old boy. That’s all he wants to be.
Before the meltdown, Madeline and I were in the bedroom practicing our “faces” — she wants to be an actress when she grows up — so we were perfecting our look of “excited anticipation” in the mirror when I heard the bedroom door shut. I knew that Ben was trying to be subtle in getting my attention. Madeline and I weren’t being loud — we were laughing a bit — but we weren’t in hysterics or anything. He didn’t want to hear our laughter so he shut the door. I opened my door just in time to see his bedroom door close. I took that as a sure sign of trouble.
I peeked into his room to see him laying on his bed facing the wall. He didn’t respond when I said his name so I went over and sat down on the bed. He was crying. He told me he wanted to get some things off his chest. I motioned for him to crawl into my lap, making sure I was giving him the option to come to me instead of making him feel like a baby. This age is so delicate. He is unbelievably mature for such a young boy and it’s hard to not treat him like a baby, especially given all he’s been through. When he willingly crawled onto my lap, I cuddled and rocked him. And let him cry.
In between his sobs he said he wanted to get some things off his chest. Not knowing what was coming my way I held him close and told him he could tell me anything. He told me that he’s tired of his sister. I countered that being tired of a sibling is fairly normal. And then he told me that he was concerned about something “bad” he saw on the Internet two years ago. He had watched a video on YouTube that had some bad words in it. I told him that if it’s been over a year then he should just let that go. And then he started crying harder as he let the real questions that were plaguing him spew forth.
“Mom, I’m just so tired. When is this going to be over? Why can’t I just be a normal kid? Why is there no cure for this cancer?” Then he started talking about how he wished he could be in heaven instead of living through this hell.
I rubbed his back and rocked him on my lap. I was at a loss as to what I should say. I have no answers. I don’t know why he’s been given this road to travel. I just don’t know.
So, I cried, too, and admitted that I don’t have any answers as to why he has to go through this hooey. But I did ask him what we could do to make him feel more normal. He told me that maybe it was time for him to go back to school. My initial reaction was to say no, but I stopped myself and said we would bring it up with his teacher tomorrow. His antibody therapy is on more of a routine now and his immune system isn’t compromised like it was during his chemotherapy, but there’s still so much that he goes through on a daily basis. I don’t know if a full day of school is the right thing. But we’ll certainly ask. If it’s going to make him feel a bit more normal then maybe it’s a start to getting my pookie pie back on track.
So, would you be surprised to hear that I’m fighting a massive bought of depression? I smashed my foot at the Ronald McDonald House two weeks ago and finally went to the doctor about it a few days ago. Fortunately, it’s not broken, but I’m supposed to stay off of it (yeah, right) and give it time to heal. While I was in my doctor’s office, I asked for a different antidepressant because what I’m currently taking isn’t working. My doctor said, “Sarah, I’m afraid that nothing will work. Your life just sucks that bad.” Now, I love my doctor. We have an excellent rapport and she has been incredibly kind to me over the years. But when she made this statement my jaw dropped. I felt like I had won some sort of lifetime achievement award, and whileÂ I’ve always wanted to be a winner, this is not what I had in mind. “And the “crappiest life” award goes to… ”
Wow. I am so incredibly tired. How long, Lord? When will this be over?