Friday, February 06, 2009

Sad. Mad.

CutieGirl, whose parents had to call a funeral home this week, is having a difficult time.

How do you call a funeral home while your child is still alive? I asked The Husband. He didn't know. And we hope we never have to find out.

The evil monster inside her just keeps growing, doubling, tripling, every day. Her mother holds her gently, around the oxygen mask and IV, and feels the tumors pushing from the inside, all over her body, an internal boa constrictor suffocating her from the inside out.

God, I think I've made my peace with you. I know it's not your fault. I know you don't cause this evil. I know you can't, or don't, choose to save some and not others. But times like this, I can't help but lash out in fury. I still can't wrap my head around it. How can a child die of cancer? I can't can't can't understand. And in this moment of human selfishness, I think, what good is it to be God if you can't stop children from dying? Dying so painfully?

Sometimes, I just can't be objective. Can't be philosophical. Can't be spiritually mature.

“I tell ya ever since he was an itty bitty boy, sometimes he talks to the Lord and sometimes he yells at the Lord, tonight he just happens to be yellin' at him."

Yesterday, I took The Boy in to get a strep diagnosis (Dr. Mom) confirmed. While there, I overheard our pediatrician on the phone. She said the name of our oncologist.

When she came into the room, I asked, "Another cancer child?"

She nodded. A child, my son's age, who went in for a no-big-deal thing ... now, his mom has to come in to see his doctor so she can tell her that the no-big-deal turned out to be a really-big-deal. Another family, right now, is reeling. And saying, but how can a child -- my child -- have cancer?

Little Warrior climbs up into my lap. "When you take a shower, then I'm going to take a shower because I have to wash my hair!" she says.

We cuddle for a few minutes. I can't help running my hands over her body. It doesn't bring me much relief, as I run my fingers over bumps and lumps that are ribs, scars, fat belly. Too much scope for the imagination, to paraphrase Anne.

The Boy, still home from school from the now-confirmed strep, just came to the upstairs railing. "Mom, I kinda understand the whole Jesus and God thing, even though they say Jesus and God are the same thing, but what's the Holy Spirit? I don't get that."

I promise to explain it to him, after I take my shower.

It's a good place to yell at the Lord.

1 comment:

ogre said...

A dear, dear friend who lost a son to a leukemia that returned has made his peace in a different way.

"It's an incompetent universe," he told me. "It's not as it ought to be, or could be. But maybe it's becoming competent. Maybe."

He's UU, and Atheist, and (I believe) has been an Atheist since at least his early teens (he's 3rd generation U(U)).

I miss my mother, swept off by lymphoma, who doted on her grandsons and didn't get to meet most of them. Who should still be here--in fact, based on age and genetics and health factors, ought to be here to dote on their children, who are still years away.... I remember holding her in the last weeks, thin skin and bones, and feeling lost and hurt and angry--not so much for my loss, as for others for whom she meant, and would have meant, so much.

Not a child--a different horror, a different hell--but I understand the wish for a better, simpler, more understandable and reliable god.

And I'm trying to fashion myself an understanding of what-god-might-be that (yes, defective, I'm certain) at least fits the facts as I know them. Yelling at it, alas, seems utterly pointless (won't stop me--at least I feel a little better afterwards).

This ought to be better. It certainly feels incompetent. Maybe it's getting better.