Sunday, May 17, 2009

Make Each Day Your Best

Sitting next to my cousin's hospital bed at 0100 hours, I realized, once again, how fragile life can be. With his curiosity and a 5-year old's mind, he asked, "Am I gonna die, Matt?"

And such little words almost had me break down right in front of him. I don't even remember how I reassured him, but I did. I told him that everything will be alright and soon the doctors will make him feel better. I didn't know what else to say, it felt as if I was standing right in front of St. Pete and he asked me the one question that I can not answer.

This morning Sean seemed to be doing quite well. He ate all of his breakfast and loved going out with me to the PX and love picking out things we need around the house. I guess good things never last long, shortly after lunch, he started tearing up and crying for his parents.

And just like that...I saw myself in him. I saw myself asking and wondering where Dad is and why he's gone all the time. I know how it feels and just can't imagine what Sean is going through with both of his parents gone. After an hour of trying, I sat him down on my lap and slowly taught him to type "I love you Mommy and Daddy" from my keyboard. I even made a promise to him that tomorrow, he can make something and we'll mail it out to his Dad on Monday.

And that somewhat brought a smile to his face. "I wanna give this to Daddy." he said pointing at his action figures. I grinned and began to wonder if that was how I was when I was his age. One minute crying another smiling and full of excitement of sending Dad something over the mail.

During dinner, Sean couldn't stop laughing and making jokes to Mom and I. And somehow "HOLY COW!" have become his favorite words. I think it was one of the best dinner we've had, ever, we just couldn't stop laughing.

Just as the laughter continued, Sean dropped his fork and started seizing. Mom and I acted quick, with her holding Sean and me getting the car ready. I don't think I ever get in my car that fast and I don't remember last time I drove this fast to the hospital.

After some tests, the doctor said it was reaction from the tumors and he might have to stay in the hospital for awhile to do more test and maybe even more intense chemotherapy and radiation. After we were told the news, I volunteered to stay in the hospital with Sean and told Mom to go home and rest. I guess in a time of least one of us need to stay sane, somehow...

And just like that, one question had me thinking about life. "Am I gonna die, Matt?" It's when I got hurt I realized how fragile life can be and within minutes everything can be taken away from you. And with what happened tonight, I was reminded yet again that life is nothing to be skipping out on and truly, make every moment last and make each day your best day.

Now it's 0130 and Sean woke up, asking what I'm doing, where are we, and if we can go home. I guess it's time for me to explain why we can't, at least not now. How do I tell a 5 year old, once again that he's got cancer and somehow everything will be alright.

And I'm sure this 5 year old got more to teach me than I can teach him. When you're old enough to read and understand this, Sean, I'm proud of you buddy and thank you.


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