Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Trading the Sorrow

All day I've had a lump in my throat. I've been trying to suppress it, stuff it down. I mean, really. I've tried everything I could think of: praying, reading, playing, even shoving down a slice of cheesecake. But, nope, it is still there.

We've come so far on the wings of hope that I'm disappointed in myself for breaking ranks - all for this annoying emotion called sorrow. It feels ungrateful to all the countless people who have pulled alongside us with the unified purpose to see Ava cured of cancer. My faith seems insincere in moments like this. Why can't I just journey with joy?

I was scared to open my mouth today for fear of all the anguish that would come tumbling out. I'm sad. I'm sad that Ava has seen more hospital rooms than our whole extended family combined. I'm sad that she watches us eat a variety of delicious food while she eats the same things every single day. I'm sad that instead of worrying about what toy she's going to sneak into her backpack, she has to worry if she's packed her epi-pens and her face masks. I'm sad that while kids are planning playdates, she plans for the days she'll be getting chemo. I'm sad that her long hair is gone and she spends time in front of the mirror touching her head. I'm sad that she went from five years old to 65 in one month. I'm sad that she hasn't had much of a childhood from the get-go. I'm sad for so many things she'll have to go through in the next few years as she continues to fight.

But mostly I'm sad that there are days when she is sad. That one more tear should fall from her eyes because of this stupid cancer makes me tremble with all the weight of the world. Today, Ava was sad. It was the first time she cried for herself during this whole experience.

"Mama, what if I don't make it?" she asked me tonight. And then she wept. I held her told her she was going to be fine. And then we cried together because I want her to know that it's okay to express our complete and utter heartbreak.

What do you do when your 5 year old asks you questions that you should never have to answer?

Ava: Mama, do you think a girl with Leukemia can get married?
Me: Of course they can! Why do you ask?
Ava: Because wouldn't the man think she is weird?
Me: Do you feel weird, Ava?
Ava: (nods her head) Cancer makes me different. I feel sad and blue.
Me: I think God chooses special people to have cancer.
Ava: Is it because other people would just give up and quit?
Me: Yes, he picked you because he knew you would fight and change the world.
Ava: How could I change the world?
Me: You have many people praying for you from all over and maybe even getting closer to God because of that. Are you okay with him using you like that?
Ava: Yes.
Me: Really? How come?
Ava: Because God loves me and He knows what's best for me.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. This girl stitches up my brokenness. She shows me the way out from the shadows of sorrow by pointing toward the light. The truth is that she gets it. If God is love and He loves us, then we are in a good place even in our despair. He changes our mourning into dancing eventually. I'll cling to that today.

*If you could please continue to pray that we would find a perfect match for Ava. It seems a marrow transplant is the best bet at curing her cancer. Please spread the word! Even one new registrant offers renewed hope to searching patients everywhere! For those that have made the commitment to save a life through bone marrow donation, you have shown the true meaning of love.

Here are two ways to help spread the word:


David said...

Esther, please tell Ava, the leukemia kids can marry and have many kids. Leukemia is a disease God gave human being to test how much the love can be! from the beginning when God made the world. The leukemia kids are special, with this disease they experience more and they will grow stronger out of it, Ava will do so, David will do so.

Anonymous said...

Stay strong!!!! We continue to pray and we will not stop until Ava is cured.

Gwynneth said...

Hi Lee Family,

It is ok to be sad. But know we are all with you and love you.


borabora said...

Thank you, Ping! We definitely believe that our kids will grow to be even stronger because of this. Thank you for all of the love and support you have given us!

borabora said...

Thank you so much!

borabora said...

Thanks Wynne. This means a lot to me!