Thursday, October 3, 2013

Rocks (AKA--Rock Bottom)

Next week Harrison goes back in for his follow up scans.  He is currently NED (no evidence of disease) after two bouts with cancer, but we never know when or if that will change.  He is now 17 and trying to enjoy his Senior year of high school.

Last week we were on vacation at the beach, and his dad and I took a little time to sit with him by the seashore and share some of our thoughts with him.  With Harrison's permission, we thought we would share them with everyone else here.  My words are in black, and Darren's are in blue.


I'm sitting here on the balcony of the condo, watching John play big at the edge of the ocean.  Your dad isn't too far from the edge of the shore, sitting in one of those little chairs that are impossible for me to get out of anymore.  It makes me smile to see them, and I can't help but think of 'our' beach times.  YOU are the one to wave jump with me on red flag days.  YOU get my own excitement about being able to navigate ocean waters after having leg/balance issues.

You are painting with Grandma and Travis.  I can't wait to see your tree.  It will be cool and creative, and unique--just like you.  Will you incorporate Grandpa in there somewhere?  I wouldn't be surprised if you did.  You are just kind of neat that way.

Before we leave this amazing gift of a vacation, your dad and I wanted to do something just for you and with you.  Cancer has already stolen two of your years, and with scans coming up soon, we don't know if it will take even more.  Regardless of the results, there are a few things we want you to know--things we want to say before the reality of life outside of these amazing condo walls comes back to us tomorrow.

I totally agree with all your mom has said.  She is so gifted with writing and I am hard pressed to add much more.  Yet I do have some things to add.

Why rocks?  Because they are solid; permanent--here before us and here after us.  The words on these rocks are like that.  You didn't invent them and you will not have to last ideas about them.  But you are a part of the meaning of each of these for us all.


This one is easy--I hope you never have cancer again.  I hope you grow to be old and healthy and happy.  I need you around to help take care of me when I'm old, because I'm not so sure that John will, and Travis has already told me he will help some but not all the time.

I hope you get married and have babies (in that order!).  I hope you make it to the Prom and that you have a blast.  I don't know if your body is going to allow those things to happen, but I hope and pray that they do.

You bring hope to so many people.  The way you fight this stuff instills hope in all that know you.


Peace in the midst of cancer seems impossible, and it is easy for me to throw out phrases like 'the Lord provides peace' when it is not my body fighting against itself.  I'm sorry that your is.  But I do have peace knowing that God cares.  He may or may not intervene the way I pray for, but I do know that He cares.

I wish that peace for you.

You amaze me at the way you have shown so much peace in all of this.  Of course, I knew you would, because you have always live life bigger than just you.


Oh, this one is easy.  I cherish every single moment with you.  Seriously, even before your diagnosis I knew time was not a given and life can change on a dime.  Because you have always been so good, and funny, and easy going, you make it easy to cherish your Harrison-ness.

I hope cancer hasn't or doesn't take away your ability to cherish each moment you are given, even the ones spend doing menial or boring things.  Even if you live for 80 more years, I hope you never take for granted the gift of each moment.

I love being your dad--always have.  You have amazed me and shown me so much.  I cherish all the time we spend together and I cherish all that we will.


So many people think putting their heads in the sand and saying 'I believe I'm healed or will never get cancer again' will make it so.  I believe God can heal like that, but I KNOW reality doesn't always work out that way.  So, what do I believe?  I believe that:

     --God is love.
     --Cancer stinks like mayonnaise.
     --Life with you here is better than life without you here.
     --There is a place better than this one, and if you get there before I do, I'll count the days until I meet you there at that heavenly lake house--the one with no snakes or gnats, but with unlimited wi-fi and black-eyed pea dip.

What we believe matters.  Your mom and I spent many hours talking about that when we were dating.  We just don't get people who don't know what they believe or just don't care.  Pursue right beliefs.  Here's what I believe--that God has you here for something so much bigger than just you.  You will change the world.  I believe that fully.


Wow.  The biggest rock, and my biggest wish for you.

I hope you live--for a very, very long time.  Methuselah old.

In the meantime, between now and whenever, I hope you live to the best of your abilities, and not let the threat or reality of cancer suck your energy for living, even if you have to fight this monster many more times.

This one is easy.  It has been my most prayed prayer since you were diagnosed with cancer--

That we would live in such a way that we glorify God.

So live to the full for His kingdom.  Be ready at all times to give God the glory.  In the ups and the downs.


Live big.
Laugh long and loud (but not after I go to bed at night).
Love true.
Trust your heart.

Be dangerous.

We love you and are so proud of you.

Oh, and you--without a doubt--most certainly ROCK!


And because both my husband and my son are boys, they couldn't resist changing the rocks to look like this...

Yes, yes they do look like little booty rocks.

Cancer can take away all kinds of things, but for now the silliness remains.

Now go.  Live big.