“Close your eyes. Let me take you somewhere else, let me show you lush green meadows, where blowing wind bring grass to life. Let me lay you down next to the old oak tree, where rustling leaves comfort you to sleep. I will change the whole world so you will not feel scared, not feel your dreams are disappearing. As you are the reason why I am here, you are the reason why I would kill, just to make sure you are safe, make sure you are far from this horrible place” She whispered to his ear.
There are not many people who can really cheer you up, make you feel better, especially when you face such a drama. Trick is not to tell you, “all will be good”, as you know that this is the big unknown, but to open your heart with that small key, which you cannot find yourself, and pour some optimism inside it. Give you that energy you are lacking, and with one smile, few words, pad on the back, recharge you fully. And one cannot fake that, one cannot pretend this mood, this energetic way of being, as by now you can see through people. You can easily sense a smirk and empty heart. You just spend some time with those people and you can see that even there is fun and laughter, inside you will still feel depressed. While, once you find a true source of happiness, one word will be enough to lift you up. If you find this person on your path, do everything not to let him go, as he will pull you up from the deepest shadows and bring you back to light.
We met April and Max at the beginning of our journey. In those days where our heads were still full of negative thoughts, and our hearts had no hope that this can really be stopped. When we spoke the first time, April told us about Max, how he was qualified three years ago, but they cut him from the program because after year of training he was clean and no symptoms of uniqueness were seen is his body. Now they are back, because after two years, they spotted again some signs of relapse. This potentially could mean qualification but they were to confirm that. April was the first to show us how to smile on the rainy day. This optimistic behavior, telling that she is not taking any negative scenarios into account and nothing can change her way of approaching this situation, was very contagious.
This was one side of April, her glass was always half full. You could drink from her “It will be fine I take no other options” attitude and with few words, couple of reasons why she thinks that, you felt she is right, it all makes sense. They already have knowledge how to work the system in their favor so why should we also not succeed.
“Mum, what is that?” Max looked at blood bag standing next to his bed.
“Today we are drinking raspberry juice, it will make you stronger and bring back your appetite”. Replied April with a smile.
“How long will it drip?” Max asked as he wanted to be unhooked, so that he can go back to playing with friends on the corridors.
“This is quick one, you know this well. Few minutes and you are free again” April cheered up Max not to focus much on the blood transfusion. “Come on let’s play some games”.
There was also the other side of April, a caring mother for her little Max. She wanted to protect his innocent childhood as much as possible, hence created this magical world where they called chemo – orange juice, blood transplant – raspberry juice. She also helped Max to cope with all tests and side effects by telling some positive stories, or just letting Max know that this is just a quick procedure and soon he will be back to playing. When I looked at this from the distance at first I felt that she is not telling him the whole truth, and potentially you may call it even lying. Later I realized that this is to protect him, his childish mind, where you know he suffered already a lot so why paint all black. Plus you know that you don’t need to scare him by telling all the details in the adult way, as he is old enough to understand how serious situation he is facing, just remember that he is still a child and nobody should take this away from him.
It is sad and uplifting at the same time, when you see how those kids quickly mature in this environment. They know that it is for their good, and most amazing part is, through them you can see how much your mind dictates your recovery. Younger ones, goes much better through the process, as their mind is not really focusing on the future but takes most out of presence. While older tend to collapse inside knowing what the whole thing can lead to and simple they are terrified with the idea that they can make the flight. Therefore creating this imaginary world, where everything gets its magical meaning, helped Max to pass through the training with a smile.
“Let me paint these walls with blue skies and warm white beaches. Let me take you to exotic islands to build sand castles and swim in beautiful turquoise sea. I just wish to color your world, so gray will not be what you see. And I know that it is not easy to change your world, but maybe my little enchanting stories will be those, which you will relive one day.”
When my son was three he was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, in the hospital he cried and reached out for me to stop the needles and prodding, and when I couldn’t he yelled out ‘I hate you!’…..My heart goes out to you that you may stay as strong as you need to for as long as you need to until you and your family get to the healing side of this. Beautiful post.
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Yes, I think this is the toughest part, telling that all pain is for their good…Thank you!