I have contended for a long time that where I see God is in the face of other people, and today God came in the form of my friend BusyLady.
BusyLady is, as you can imagine, a busy lady. She has enough energy for 10 people, and uses it for good, through her professional work as a counselor for hurt children, her volunteer work at our church, and through being an awesome mom.
She also lost one of her sons about 10 years ago. Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.
She came for a visit today, bringing her daughter to play with my hellions, enchiladas for my freezer, muffins and donuts for us, and incredible dessert for The Husband and I -- grown-up "Ding Dongs." Dark chocolate glaze ... yum. Stop your dirty remarks.
The last time she came to visit was when I had just received the call scheduling Little Warrior's surgery. I opened the door to her and burst into tears.
Happily, I didn't do that this time, though we both got teary at various times, having the conversation that only two people who have both gone through having a child with cancer can have.
She said SO many things I needed to hear. It was like being at the knee of the man on the mountaintop.
She is probably the most compassionate, thoughtful person I know, but she doesn't mind stating an opinion. Such as the whole issue of "things happen so we can learn lessons." F-- that! Yes, you can and should learn lessons along the way. But that doesn't mean it was worth it. Let me state that again ...
THERE IS NO LESSON THAT I LEARNED THROUGH THIS THAT WAS WORTH IT.
If I could take back the whole experience and not have the lessons, would I? Would we? Yup, we both agreed. In a heartbeat.
This part of the conversation came up because she recently helped put together a Mother's Day service with another friend. There was apparently something in it that said something about being a mother, and things happening so we can learn lessons. She swiftly changed that, explaining to the other friend, "This is very, very hurtful to any parent who has gone through a serious illness with their child."
Had I not gone through All Of This, I wouldn't have understood, either. That's one of those differences between being an adult and having cancer yourself, and your child having it. I know myself: I know that if I survived cancer, I would be like Linda Ellerbee, claiming that cancer was a gift to me, that it made the rest of my life better.
(As I've mentioned before, if I were not a survivor, I don't think I would consider it to be such a great gift.)
But if you're a parent, even if your child survives, you don't consider cancer to be a gift.
Well, there I go, attempting to speak for millions of people. Perhaps there are some parents who would disagree. But not me.
And not BusyLady.
I feel completely refreshed. What a wonderful gift she has. What a wonderful gift she is.