Jean-Marc, who is four, and I have a little cute word game that we play from time to time throughout the day. It is kind of based on the book, "Guess How Much I Love You" by Sam McBratney. He'll tell me that he loves me up to the stars and back a hundred seventy eight times (the exact number varies each time...he's trying to get as high as he can go.) Then I'll top it. Then he'll try to make up an even bigger number, and so on. It's cute and inevitably ends up with hugs and him declaring that, "I'll always love you!" Or, "I'll never ever, ever stop loving you!" Heart melting, to be sure.
Last night as I was getting him ready for bed, he started the Game. It's especially nice when he's fresh from a bath and getting all cozy and ready for bed. When he said that he would "never, ever" stop loving me, I made some comment like, "Wow...even when I'm an old lady?"
That stopped him in his tracks. His little lips started to quiver and he was visibly worried. After a pause, his little voice asked, "But....but who will be my mom when you die?" He was on the verge of tears, and this sudden turn of the Game almost had me there on a dime as well.
"Who will be my mom when you die?"
Who said anything about dying?? Oh man. I assured him that I wasn't going to be dying anytime soon and that even when I was old and he was a grownup, that I would still be his mom. That satisfied him enough that we were able to settle in for a good telling of "Hop on Pop" before final goodnight cuddles and bed.
But I can't help but think over the question. While I am not facing the death sentence that a recurrence would mean, it is always in the back of my mind. It's a constant threat that I live with. Having my innocent little four year old ask me the question that I hope he never has to really ask kind of freaked me out.
And while I'm okay, there are so many other women who do die and leave small children. My heart just breaks thinking about those little children who are left wondering who will be their mom now.
I pray that mine never have to.
About this blog
I was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 11, 2010. As a result of my treatment, I have lymphedema in my left arm. I draw my strength from the Lord, as well as my family's Scots-Irish heritage. Our Graham's were a tough and scrappy bunch of fighters on the Scottish/English border. They came to America and continued to fight when necessary: in the American Revolution; the Civil War; and my brother is a Captain in the U.S. Army. My ancestors settled this country against all odds. My great-grandmothers on both sides of the family were pioneer women who settled the West. Along with that heritage, and the full armor of God, I am walking the walk and fighting the good fight.