November 24, 2009
I am crying as I write this, crying for yet another child who has lost his life to cancer. I did not know him, but every time I hear about cancer taking a child so early, I can’t help but cry out of sadness for the child and his or her parents… and out of fear for my child. There are no words to describe the terror.
My Mom emailed me last week about a little 5-year-old boy she heard about who was losing his battle to neuroblastoma. He loved Christmas and his family was celebrating Christmas early while he was able. They put out a request on their blog that people send Christmas cards to him.
Yesterday, I told Tanner about Noah. I didn’t tell her he was dying, but that his family was trying to do something special for him, just like people do special things for her when she is having a hard time. She eagerly agreed to make a card for him and got right to work. She drew a Christmas ornament and wrote inside it, “Merry Christmas. Hi, my name is Tanner. I am six-years-old and I have cancer just like you. Love, Tanner.”
This morning when I woke up, she had gathered a small stuffed fox, a pumpkin eraser and a little fuzzy ball and put those items, along with the card, inside a large zip lock bag. Thirty minutes ago, I put the bag inside an envelope and addressed it to Noah, added stamps and dropped it into the mailbox. When I came in, out of curiosity, I decided to look him up on Caring Bridge to see if he had a site. He did not, but I googled him and found a host of new stories documenting how his family’s request for cards had gone viral and more than 1 million cards and gifts had come to their home. But, the family was asking people to please stop because they had celebrated Christmas on Nov. 8 and Noah had passed away… yesterday.
I can’t stop crying thinking how I now have to hide away the card and little gifts Tanner collected… little childhood treasures put together from the innocence of her heart… so I don’t have to explain to her that he died before he could receive them.
This disease is vile and heartless. It steals childhoods from innocent children and beautiful children from loving parents. It breaks my heart every day and I am sick of it.