It’s been 448 days since Joncee finished his last cycle of chemotherapy. It’s been 356 days since we took blood and it turned out clean. On Monday Joncee and I ventured to Seattle Children’s Hospital to establish a relationship with the team of doctors up here and seek to continue our journey of follow-ups moving forward.
When you’re the parent of a sick child, you learn not to have expectations in mind. Jayme and I have been blindsided by situations during our journey with Joncee when we thought things were just fine.
I didn’t have much anxiety about meeting this team and giving the history we have been through. It was funny when they asked us to print Joncee’s medical file and bring it with us and we told them that wouldn’t happen since it was over 1100 pages long!
My anxiety surfaced quickly when I walked into the oncology department and I looked into the faces of the children and their parents. Faces of concern, faces of exhaustion, faces of wonder and fear, and sweet little children with lives so fragile that it puts you back quickly in just a moment of where you used to be.
I know those faces. I know those feelings. As Joncee’s story flashed before me in those moments, I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude again for God’s goodness in our lives. The classic hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” keeps ringing.
Joncee is doing really well. He's thriving in school, continuing his Spanish, active in all sports, and being his regular loving self. He is entering the age of asking questions about his journey. Each question is becoming a gift again of God’s faithfulness. The fact that God has entrusted so many of us with the gift of parenting can never be taken for granted. I have friends that have longed for children and could never have them. I have friends who have lost their children to tragedy. We have had children in our home who have needed care because their own parents never learned the skills in how to care for these precious gifts. Whether your kids are grown and gone or parenting is a new and recent adventure you, embrace all of it.
This evening I’m reflecting on the fact that people matter. Those tensions that unnecessarily get blown up on social media don’t matter. What matters is the fact that we are loved. All people need to receive it and give it. It could just be the very thing that alters a situation that makes the difference in someone’s life today.
My prayer is that how I live my life is a reflection of the love I have through my relationship with Jesus. If I try to do it my own way, they see a whole lot of selfishness.
Hug your gifts. There are many in these days unsure if they’ll be giving hugs to their kids in the coming days. I saw many of those faces on Monday.
You are loved.