One week into this journey and I need an answer. What do you tell your child when they ask you if the cancer is going to kill their mommy?
Where is the guidebook, the parenting book, the answer that won't scar them for life, is a lie, will make them hate God, or fill them with fear.
There is no RIGHT way to handle this question and there is no parent that has been in my shoes that this question crushes them. All the love in the world cannot promise my children that the cancer won't kill me. The probabilities are not in the favor of the cancer winning, and as I told them, I could die tomorrow walking across the street, but really, I cannot promise my children that this won't kill me. No one can promise their children that they won't die early.
And they know it. And it fills them with fear. And they hold it in. My kids are the warriors. They look in my face and they know I am afraid and they know I cannot give them the pat answer they want. Of course we laugh at it. Their mommy is too stubborn to let cancer kill her. But I cannot promise that. I cannot say to them that if I die, it is God's will, because I do not believe that. This journey isn't just about me. It is about this disease and how it has infected all of us as a family. Of all the stupid stuff I've come to terms wth over this week, this is the one question that stops me in my tracks. I bumble through my responses, I hem and I haw and I answer somewhere between "no" and "mommy will fight this tooth and nail." And yet none of my responses feel right.
Every parent simply wants to raise their children, see them succeed, grow old, marry, have their grandkids and find happiness. No parent wants to leave their child, at least not me. And I'd give anything not to have had that discussion or hear that question from my babies.
How would you answer it?