Today is my son’s 16th birthday.
That in itself isn’t very amazing if it were not for the facts that he was a preemie and then was diagnosed with leukemia at 16 months. The delight we have in celebrating his birthday each year just doesn’t diminish with the passing of time.
He and I just returned from spending two days at the University of Minnesota Hospital. He participated in a study on young adults who survived childhood cancers. It was one of the few times he and I have gone away alone together. If our family separates, it’s usually into boys and girls, not Mom and Eric/Dad and Emily and Rebekah.
For Eric and me spending two days in a hospital setting again was cause for a walk down memory lane. He doesn’t remember a lot about his three and a half years of treatment. But he’s been told stories and seen photos and home movies. That in itself is a blessing since much of it wasn’t very pleasant.
One memory he has that is precious to both of us is of his last hospital stay. He was about 5 and had gotten an infection of unknown origin. He was being hospitalized to try to determine what was happening. It was a scary time and for several days things didn’t look good for him. He was in his hospital bed hooked up to all sorts of equipment and IVs. They had a little cot for me, but Eric insisted I sleep with him in his hospital bed. This only worked because there was considerably less of both of us than there is now.
I remember holding him in my arms as he slept. As I listened to his deep rhythmic breathing I wondered if one of these breaths would be his last. Each moment seemed like a lifetime as I continued to commit him to the Lord and myself to God’s will.
We didn’t share a hospital bed this time. We did share our gratefulness to the Lord for his ongoing goodness to our family.
(We will not share your address)
© 2007 Phyllis Sather
This article was written in 2007. In 2012 we have celebrated five more of Eric’s birthdays. We continue to be grateful that he is still with us. This fall he will have his last check-up with his Oncologist before transitioning into main stream medicine.
Eric has grown into a fine man of God, striving to serve Him in many ways. He takes life very seriously, knowing that he has been saved for a purpose. Eric strives to discover the ways the Lord has for him to serve Him. He has a fine sense of humor and often delights us with some story or mischief.
We are grateful that his life has been spared for yet a little while. We thank and praise the Lord for all He has done for Eric and our family.