Child having trouble breathing.
Child still in ICU.
Child with a tumor pressing on the end of the stomach.
Child with Relapsed Lymphoma.
Child with tumor growth.
What do we say?
What do we do?
I have racked my brain for days. I am not one of those "Just buy a gift card" kind of person. I know on some level it is the best thing. Some money, a prayer, an encouraging note, a Coffee Card. Heck I just found out there are McDonald Cards. I know. Write a note, put in a 20. Go on with my business. Easy. I'm done. I have stepped forward and contributed. The rest will work itself out.
I want to give something special. I want to give something meaningful. I want to be of help and to take away some of the burden. I want it all to go away. But as many of us in Cancer World have learned over the weeks and months and even decades, there is really nothing that helps. But darn it, there has to be something. I hate limitations.
I received news that Katie Elliot took her last labored breath this morning. Talk about a "no words" moment. Words won't make a difference to Katie. Her family will no doubt find words not comforting, for a while because the pain is so excruciating.
I think the reason we are at a loss for words is because sounds don't adequately do the job. A death is a time for silence, for deep reflection, for gazing out into space to try and connect with the molecules of the spirit. It is a time to think about the great things the person did during her lifetime and what we learned from her.
We all die. Some sooner than others. The only thing that matters is what we do with the earthly time we have. How many times do we smile, laugh, change another person's life in a good way? What really matters isn't the balance of the bank account or how many bedrooms and bathrooms we have. It is what we have done to effect some one's life.
Everyday a good deed must be accomplished. That is the important pile of stuff that needs to taken care of and stored and sorted and increased.
Today we dedicate good deeds to Katie and her very sad mom Darlis