I have a dear friend who, a few years ago, was thoroughly roughed up by cancer. Her story involves her precious only child and crappy insurance. It was just too much. Really. Like those fight scenes I hate in the movies when the victim is already down and the bad guy kicks him in the stomach and then stomps on his face. Really? He was already down. Did you really have to step on his face?
I was venting with her about some details of Chris' treatment and decided I was being insensitive and thoughtless because we really do have great insurance.* So far, they've covered everything without a fight.
Me: This is completely ridiculous... But I shouldn't complain. All of this is covered. It could be so much worse.
Sarah: (that good friend kind of irritation that says "Stop trying to be brave and thankful. You're allowed to be angry about this and I don't need you to be considerate of me right now.") Oh shush. Be irritated. Vent. Complain. Although, in a weird way, at the end with Thomas, it did help me to remember that there were people who had it worse. Most mothers in Africa don't have access to morphine for their children. If we had lived in Africa he probably wouldn't have had morphine. It helped me to be thankful for morphine.**
So, in the spirit of thankfulness for morphine, and also because it's rodeo time in Houston...
For anyone who doesn't know, this ain't our first rodeo. Our first son died an hour after he was born. We lost our second child when I was five months pregnant. And now my thirty-seven-year-old husband, father of my four young children, my love, shade of my heart,*** has cancer. There's a lot to be angry about here. Seriously, it's not our first rodeo. For reasons apparent only to God in heaven, my family is in the arena again, and all six of us are riding on the back of a raging bull. But, for real, there's a lot to be thankful for and not in that fake rainbows and unicorns way. We have a fiercely awesome group of rodeo clowns.**** Family, friends, acquaintances and people we don't even know have been willing to put themselves out there and wear bright clothes and ridiculous makeup and jump in that arena with us. That takes courage.
So, today I'm thankful for our rodeo clowns (particularly our parents who are doing more than I can even say). Your prayers, notes, gifts, meals, visits, quality time with our boys and even heartfelt offers we haven't taken you up on yet are lending courage and strength to face a pretty scary ride.
* I think awesome insurance should just automatically go along with cancer. Side effects of chemotherapy: hair loss, nausea, fatigue, rock star insurance.
** I'm paraphrasing here. I'm sure she was much more eloquent.
*** That's for you Wheel of Time fans. I'm halfway through book 14.
**** Any of my people who just took umbrage at that metaphor - Chris has cancer, so I can compare you to a rodeo clown if I feel like it.