It was like any other 10-month-old check up. We walked in, greeted all the wonderful staff and were escorted to our exam room. We stripped Rob, the nurses weighed him, check his growth, and conducted his usual blood tests. Nothing unusual, nothing exciting, but as new parents, everything was fascinating. I recall my husband always kissing Rob before he placed him in the car and as soon as he took him out of the car. There was nothing we wouldn’t do for our beautiful son, our first born, the son that I was once told I would not be able to conceive (that’s another blog).
After a pretty uneventful drive home we went about our day. Playing, feeding, singing and laughing and trying to get him to walk...until the phone rang. The pediatrician’s office calling the same day? That’s strange, they usually call a day later with blood test results, but this time it was different.
There was something wrong.
Our sweet little baby was sick, and the news that awaited us on the other line was devastating. We had to take him to Cedar’s Sinai Pediatric Oncology, you see our son had all the signs of Leukemia. His blood work in the past few check-ups was not improving, and now we needed to see the big guns. We could no longer wait, the appointment was scheduled for the very next day. My body went limp. I fell to the ground, my pediatrician asked me if anyone was with me. All I could do was cry. You see my family was no stranger to this pain, my mom lost a child (a brother I never met) at 2 years old with Leukemia and she was never the same. Rob was 10 months old, the exact age her son was diagnosed. I just couldn’t believe this was happening to us.
I cried bitterly, screaming, yelling, telling God you cannot take him from us, you can’t! You gave him to us…how could this be happening…
why me, why him, why us...
I walked over to his crib, picked him up while he slept and held my beautiful baby boy tightly as my tears gently fell on his thick black curly hair. I looked down at him full of wonder, and yet my heart was full of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the diagnosis, fear of what his tender little body would have to endure.
And there we were, the next day, sitting in the waiting room of the Pediatric Oncology department. Waiting for our son’s name to be called to go meet the doctors that would now take over his care. Waiting to walk down a long hallway to begin the bloodwork process. As Robert and I sat silently in the waiting area, across from us was a Rabbi, he immediately sensed our sadness, our fear. He walked over to us and said, “Hold him.” Excuse me? I said. He repeated, “Hold him, he will be healed if you hold him.” Then he kindly walked away. I looked down at Rob and picked him out of the stroller and held him, I held him tighter than I ever had.
Why me, why him, why us?
To be continued.
Is there someone you need to hold?
Some tests are truly unbearable, this was one of them. We were barely holding on, but we did. Hold on, during your trial. Hold on, in your time of testing.
In everything give thanks.