At The Very Least

by farrah on March 7, 2012 · 20 comments

This afternoon after an all too brief nap, I loaded the boys in the minivan and we took a meal to a family in need. It was something that I had been struggling to do for weeks- but at the very least I had to do what I could.

I’ll back up to the beginning- and I promise that it comes back full circle. When I was just a few weeks pregnant with the twins I started scouring Craigslist for twin stuff. This was our second round so I didn’t need much- but I did need  a nursing pillow for two. I found one and took Brody with me to a woman’s house to pick up the pillow. I remember going in I caught a glimpse of my future: she had 18 month old twins and a four year old running around. I remember thinking omg that’s going to be us.

I spoke with the mom briefly- she asked me if I lived in her sub as she said there must be something in the water. There were two other women who were also expecting twins in her neighborhood. She then asked me if I was a member of the local Moms of Multiples club and I said not yet.  “They’re great!” she said. “I really think you should join- you will get so much support.”

I took what she said to heart and joined a few weeks later. I went to my first meeting and realized that there were several women in the same boat as me- with the same fears and story. It was daunting to hear women with triplets, twins plus one or two, etc introduce themselves and look so at ease. I wondered if I was ever going to be at ease again.

It wasn’t long after that one and only meeting I attended that things took a turn for the worse and I was on strict bed rest at 24 weeks. My early blog posts sort of deal with that drama- and how we got through it. Saying I had a difficult time with being in and out of the hospital on bed rest is a gigantic understatement. I really kind of lost my mind during those three months- and one of the biggest supports for myself and my family was the Moms Of Multiples club.

I received supportive emails, texts, phone calls and visits. The president of the club came to see me in the hospital and shared her story. There were several moms who brought meals to my home and before I was in the hospital for good- a couple came to my house, young twins in tow- one pregnant herself- to care for my son. It was incredible. Here were a group of women that I hardly knew, that hardly knew me- and yet they were so kind and so wonderful. I am and will remain very grateful.

So..it was a couple of months ago that we received a call for help. One of our moms was in distress. She had twin boys, the same age as my little guys- and they were facing a crisis. One of them was diagnosed with a neuroblastoma, a stage four cancer. Preparations were being made for him to start chemo- and needless to say it was all going to be a huge trial ahead for the family. Selfishly, I was horrified at this story. I recoiled.  I saw my boys in her boys. Even though I have never met the woman- my gut ached and I could not even begin to fathom what she was dealing with. The club called upon us to help them.

At first, I couldn’t. I didn’t reply to the facebook group posts. I didn’t text her or ask others how she was doing. I felt like talking about it in person made it more real. I didn’t sign up to bring a meal to her house. You see, the club is a group of highly organized women- and they knew that with family in town and being in the hospital so much- at the very least we could organize meals for her family. She was spending her time with her son in the hospital while the rest of the family remained home. I was afraid. I was sorry. I couldn’t see myself walking up to her door, possibly peering in and seeing a toddler the same age as mine- and think how very, very sad all of this was. I was being a selfish asshole.

So weeks went by and one treatment was completed. I attened our multiples consignment sale and they were taking donations for her family. I could do that- I could write a check and tell myself that was something. Then not shortly thereafter an email was sent out asking for toys that could be borrowed for the hospital. Her little boy was losing strength and muscle so she thought that maybe stand-up toys would help. I could do that too. At the very least I could give them something to take to the hospital.

The day one of our club members came to take two of the toys- I explained to Brody where they were going to avoid a three year old meltdown. ‘Little boy like Bubba-Chay (his nicknames for his brothers) very, very sick.’ he said knowingly as she drove away. I said yes, but we hoped that he was going to get better soon.

We’ve talked about him now and then- and B always looks down and says ‘Little boy very, very sick. He’s in the hospital with the doctors.’ So today, when I finally had the balls to take a meal over there- he kind of knew where we were going.

I packed everyone up  and drove to her house. The gps directed my way and I realized that her neighborhood was familiar. I pulled up to her house, delivered the meal and got back in the car. Brody was hysterical and yelling at how he wanted to go inside and I didn’t have the energy to calm  him. It had dawned on me that this house belonged to a woman that I had heard about all those months ago. She was one of the two that was pregnant with twins in that same subdivision where I picked up my nursing pillow.

I felt from the beginning some strange connection with this woman I still haven’t met. I think she represents to me everything that I fear. I fear illness will strike my children out of the blue- and I will be faced with this enormous task. I wonder how I deal with the test and still cope for my children and husband. It’s something that I really, really hate to think about- but yet she is forced to live with this daily. At the very least I want to will my wishes into the universe- that her family is healed.

Tonight while we were eating dinner I asked B to tell his dad what we did today and he said ‘Took dinner to sick little boy. He very, very sick. But he getting better!’ It nearly knocked me over. Oh yes B, yes. I hope that you are right.

 

UPDATE 3/18/2012

Things don’t look good. We heard today that he has been admitted to hospice care in the hospital. The hospital that little Noah is currently at …”has fashioned a hospice suite [in the children’s oncology area] for him with a kitchenette and an adjoining playroom for his twin. It had been part of a long range plan that they put into high gear recently. As this is the first family to use it, it will be known as Noah’s Ark.”

UPDATE 3/26/2012

I received word today that poor little Noah passed away. Thanks to those that are thinking of his family at this time.

 

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brianne March 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Good job momma! Teaching the littles ones to give is one of the best things we can do! And even if it took awhile, you still taught B a HUGE lesson!!

Sending prayers for that momma and her boys!

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2 farrah March 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Thanks Bri- I know she can use them 🙂

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3 Kate March 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I don’t deal well with sickness/illness of any kind. My mom died from cancer 10 years ago & I worry way too much about loosing the ones I love. My mom lost a child, my older sister, when I was just a year old & she was 5. It’s a loss I pray & hope I never have to face. I don’t think you were being an asshole, you reacted like many would at first. Fear is a powerful thing it can stop us in our tracks if we let it. Seems to me that even if you did nothing like write a check, make a meal, or donate a toy, you could do something…send kind healthy loving thoughts & (prayers if you believe-I do) and that would be okay too, but you didn’t just do that. You got over your fear and moved into action and in the process taught your little guy something.
P.S. when crisis hits families many move into action immediately and the outpouring of love is amazing, but time passes and people resume their lives. It’s the days, months, & years after that are also so very important. Maybe you are meant to be the one person who provides a longer term friendship and help then those in the beginning. 😉

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4 farrah March 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm

You make a very powerful statement. I think that you might be right in that I could be a long term friend. I want to be. This family has really touched me in a way I really can’t explain.

I’m so sorry for your losses as well. Life is so fragile and bittersweet. Thank you so much for sharing, I appreciate you!

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5 Lady Estrogen March 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm

It’s not selfish. We all feel that dread with a tweak of guilt that comes from being thankful it’s not happening to us. Such a sad and awful thing for a child to go through. Glad you could do your little part & teach your boys an amazing life lesson 😉

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6 farrah March 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I guess I know it’s part of our human reaction, but at the same time I wish I could do something more for them- for her. Thank you for stopping in.

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7 Robbie March 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm

My heart breaks for that family. I know what you mean about not being able to actually talk about her and see her face to face. It makes it all too real and brings so many of our own fears to the surface.

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8 farrah March 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I wonder how they’re doing. I also can’t help but think about the twin that’s at home, wondering where his brother is. It makes me very, very sad. Thank you for commenting today 🙂

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9 Shell March 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm

It’s so frightening when little kids are so sick. It’s unfair and reminds us that it could happen to any of us.

I hope that he is getting better!

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10 farrah March 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Me too. Glad I found your PYHO today- because that’s kind of really what this feels like.

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11 Ninja Mom March 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm

This is what I think God expects if us. Not big pro iuncements of faith or making affiliations with this or that dogma. I think we need only Shepard our ability to be kind and, in that act, find that there is help enough felt us all should we ever find ourselves afflicted.

I have a friend whose 2nd grader is also undergoing chemo and radiation as I type this comment. She has PNET brain and spinal cancer. It’s scary and grim and I feel like cancer is exploding like hidden land mines all around me. So all I can do is pray, support when the opportunity arises, and be thankful that my family is well. I can also be thankful that if we weren’t, there are folks like you around to lend a hand.

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12 farrah March 8, 2012 at 1:04 am

I am so sorry for your friend. There is nothing more cruel than cancer in children.
I still don’t feel I am doing enough. I don’t think you ever can feel like you’re doing enough when someone is hurting.

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13 Ninja Mom March 7, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Just, excuse all the typos. I was trying not to cry when I commented.

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14 farrah March 8, 2012 at 1:04 am

xoxo

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15 Kristin March 7, 2012 at 11:47 pm

It’s a wonderful thing you’re doing – not just the giving, but the teaching and supporting. The on-line communities are so great when crisis strikes. And they don’t have to be on-line, it just makes it easier. My parents’ church has a system that creates a month of hot dinners for every single new set of parents. Every time a baby is born into a family, the members gear up and know which night they stop by with a meal. They do the same when sickness or health crisis visits a member.

We don’t belong to a church of any kind, but I know that there is a community of people around us who will (and have helped!) help us out, just as we would help (and have helped!) them.

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16 farrah March 8, 2012 at 1:06 am

Help like this really is amazing. The thing I realized when I was in need of help- was that it was OK to accept it. People WANT to help you. You aren’t putting them out or adding to their burden. It’s something so small in the scheme of what they are going through.

Based on reading your blogs you live in a very supportive community- that is awesome in itself and I don’t think that’s the first time I have said that!

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17 jennie March 8, 2012 at 5:47 pm

What a sweet response at the end. You are doing something right as a parent! Teaching by example to be caring.

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18 Leigh Ann March 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Isn’t it funny how you feel that connection sometimes with someone? One of my local blogging friends just had a baby, but before he was born she was admitted to the hospital for preeclampsia, and I knew exactly what she was going through. Sometimes it’s the trials that connect us. And as for being there as a mentor, we do what we can. I just had a funny/wonderful FB chat with my former mentor mom who read my post today. Turns out we all had a LOT going on in those days, but you can’t force these relationships. You have to let them happen. 🙂

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