Brown eyes searching my face, my oldest son leans his lanky body into me then tucks his head under my chin. “Did I hurt your boo-boo?” he asks, pulling back and looking at the red gash on my neck.
Wrapping my arms around him, I pull him into my embrace, “No, buddy, I’m fine.”
“Mom? I don’t like looking at where you had your surgery.”
I look into his eyes, wishing I could read into his soul and know what’s really going on behind his penetrating gaze. “What… What do you think about when you see it?” I stumble over my words, “What…? Tell me… what’s going on in your mind? What are you feeling, buddy?”
“When I see that scar it means you have cancer. And cancer means you could die.” His eyes fill with tears, his voice grows thick and husky as he whispers plaintively, “I don’t want my mommy to die.”
I groan inwardly, the groaning of Creation in a fallen world.
I whisper prayers over his head, and I remind him of God’s faithfulness to me, to us. I remind him that the cancer has been removed, and I am getting stronger. Yet even as I pray I want to scream. No six-year-old should have to bear such a heavy burden, to live with this fear. I will not run from this and I will teach him how to live in his reality. And we will walk forward, trusting together.
But I ask you to please pray for my Ash as he weathers these storms with us. There is much he doesn’t say, but he feels deeply.