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Tuesday, February 10, 2015
While Sweeping and Mopping
Yesterday afternoon I was working with the horses and the alpacas. I was moving alfalfa, sweeping out stalls, rinsing out water buckets as I listened to the radio I tend to keep on in the day for the animals. Only one station stays on playing calm music and interviews all through the duration of the day. It's not my favorite station but it goes a long way to keeping animals calm especially when there is bad weather which is amplified by the tin roof. Yesterday as I swept I listened to the story of a young boy who had a serious cancer at age ten. His mother had moved Heaven and Earth in order to get him into some experimental studies. From the interview he was a precious boy and for a moment I understood his mother's quest to do almost anything to keep her son alive. As I listened, swept, mopped and distributed a coat of thin pine shavings to a shiny stall floor, I was hopeful. Certainly such a promising drug regimen would work on children as well as adults. I expected to hear good news, and so I slowed my work for a moment to listen. I was unprepared for the news that the boy, Joey, had not responded to the drug and had died the day before Thanksgiving. All at once I recalled that Daniel had departed from us the day after Thanksgiving. The feeling sat there in my abdomen as if I had been gently kicked by a short horse ! I was especially saddened to hear the interviewer ask the mother if she had regretted continuing treatment when the doctors had given them the option to go home to die and to see his friends. She had decided to stay the course waiting for her miracle, and this time, it had not paid off. At first she said she thought she made the right decision, and then even within the same sentence, she changed her mind. This is a doubt I think she will have all of her life. Sadly, when we lose a child every choice we ever made will be periodically second guessed. Why did I not take Daniel to a cardiac electrophysiologist at twelve ? Because I had no idea he would develop a cardiac electrophysiological issue. Why did I not let him stay out later a couple of days before his passing ? It would have been unlikely to have made any difference, and he would have enjoyed it. Why did I not divert money from other things we did here, and take Daniel to Europe ? Because, at that particular juncture of his life, he would rather have stayed here on the farm with his siblings, his animals, and his computer ! Parents who have lost children will always second guess the choices we made with them I suppose this comes with the territory. There is something we can do though. When we hear of someone who has lost a child, we can support them in the choices they made. We only have limited information when we make some of the choices for our children. We don't have a crystal ball. We don't know all that will happen in their future lives or in our own. We need to work to understand and accept that we made the best choices for our children with all of the information we had at the time. We would have done nothing less for our beloved children. My prayer yesterday is for Joey's family and particularly his mother. May she come to know that she did everything she could for him in a difficult situation, and that he knew that. This is what I wish for all of you who come to Daniel's blog for some crumb of wisdom.
This is a link which would allow you also to listen to the story of Joey Xu