Sunday, April 24, 2016

It's Okay to Cry

It's okay to cry.  Over the last 7+ months, I've had to remind Paige of that.  I've had to remind myself of that, though it must be said that lately I don't really need reminding.  I've shared before that Paige's relapse broke me--and there are days it hits harder than others.  Crying doesn't mean we are weak.  It doesn't mean we have given up.  It certainly doesn't mean we have lost faith.  It simply means we need to let go of some of the stuff that's been building up inside our weary souls.

Crying over the past.  I so wish I could look at old photos--before all of this--and just smile and move on.  That would be too easy, and nothing about our life is easy anymore.  Instead I linger a little too long, just long enough to feel the tears welling up in my eyes.  How I miss those days, never dreaming for a moment that one day things would be completely different.  That our whole world would turn upside down.  And then I cry.  Over what used to be.  Over what might have been.

Crying over the present.  It seems Paige comes across a different challenge every day.  Shoulder issues.  Knee pain.  The mess with her ankles.  Old virus still hanging on.  New virus her body is trying to fight on its own.  That's just the physical stuff, mind you.  Throw in the mental stress involved with rebuilding stamina to tackle schoolwork.  Paige is currently in beast mode trying to complete her sophomore year on time.  She doesn't want this to be yet another thing cancer tried to mess up for her.

Next we have the emotional battles and scars for a 15-year-old girl who has spent over 2 years fighting.  First time around, check.  Second time around, check-check.  Bone marrow transplant and recovery, check-check-check.  It has taken its toll on her.  And me.  And our entire family.
And then I cry.  Over what my daughter is going through.  Over how it's changed our lives.

Crying about the future.  As parents, we start dreaming about our kiddos' futures from the time they take those first precious breaths.  We start planning for childhood and the crazy teen years.  We look forward to dropping our young adults off for college.  To celebrating their first "real" jobs, wedding days, and even our future grandbabies.  Those dreams change with a cancer diagnosis.  The goal becomes to get rid of the cancer.  To do whatever it takes to get your kiddo healthy again.  To live as much of a 'normal' life as you can, knowing that it will never be the kind of normal you once longed for.  And then I cry.  Over the uncertainty about what will be.  Over the hope about what can be.


Please know that our days are not consumed with uncontrollable sobbing.  This is a bumpy road we travel.  Sometimes there are tears of sadness.  Other times there are tears of pure joy.  We have our moments--then we move forward in hope and strength that comes from none other than our Almighty God.  And we know it will be okay.

...Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.   Psalm 30:5