The Power of a Date


Did you ever think to yourself "how did I get here". Maybe it's a destination you arrived at, but couldn't remember the travel part. Maybe it's a relationship, a job, or in finding a passion or a purpose.

I had one of those moments today. I was relaying to a friend about our Compassion Cart dedication last week and in showing her photos of the cart, and the event, I was reminiscing about John's love for trains. Not just Thomas the Train (which he absolutely loved), but Brio Trains, train sets, shows about trains...anything...he loved it. A few months after John died Henry and I were home alone and he asked me to set up the Brio train set. While the set was really for Walter, John and Henry, it was John who loved it most. After playing with it for about 15 minutes, Henry knocked the tracks and trains over and said, "I don't know what that kid liked about these trains....BORING!!". And he walked away. I remember laughing until I cried.

Sometimes, like today at work, I find myself outside of the peds cancer floor where I work, where things are a little "too" reminiscent, familiar, and painful. I was reminded today how a date on the calendar can hold such power over us. Today, 17 years ago, John underwent surgery to remove tumors from his liver. The procedure is called RFA and I believe John was the first peds case at Mott to undergo this literal burning off the tumors. While the surgery was somewhat successful, the post op was not. So many things went wrong and John nearly died many many times while in the PICU. After 5 weeks in the PICU and a week on the oncology floor, John was able to come home. Our summer was filled with uncertainty, and a lot of days for me, just thinking, but we were certain that no matter what John's outcome would be in the future, we wanted him to be home with his brothers, and his dad and I.

So today as I walked the halls of the familiar, I remembered the sights, the smells, the sounds of 17 years ago....and the hope that we all had, and the hope that I continue to grasp onto each and every day.


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