Wednesday, August 31, 2011

When We Love

A while ago I was talking with another mother. Her young son was diagnosed with cancer and treated for a brain tumor. Fortunately he is doing very well now. Nevertheless, he still has some challenges that are a result of his illness and treatment. Feeling a sort of kinship with me as a mother who has experienced a loss, she shared some of her thoughts. One of the things that she said has really caused me to think. She expressed a certain amount of impatience with the more common concerns of many parents - the broken bones, the colds, things that are not life threatening - and said that she wants to tell them that it is not a big deal. That they should be grateful and not worry about those things. I understand (I think) what she said. I have thought a lot about our conversation and I think that those things are a "big deal".

The experience of losing a child is awful. There are so many hard things but there have also been blessings and lessons. For me, one of those lessons has been that when we love it doesn't matter what the challenge is that our loved one faces - it is a big deal. So if a baby has a cold - it is a big deal. A big deal for the baby that's for sure, but also a big deal for the parents. Not so much because of the lost sleep due to the baby's wakefulness but because of the care and concern the parents have for the comfort and wellbeing of their beloved child. They know that a cold is (generally) not life-threatening and that the baby will almost certainly recover within a week or two. But it is hard to love and not be able to protect or fix or remove whatever the issue may be. So it is a big deal. And there is no competition. No qualifier. No threshold for "big deals". When we love, we care. We share the worry, the hurt, the grief, and we learn to understand one another's concerns.

I am so grateful for the continued expression of love and concern for me and for our family. For the thoughtful and unselfish gestures. For all the sharing. I understand in a new way the importance of truly loving others. I can see more clearly and easily how everyone struggles with some kind of "deal". It is not my place to decide how big or little that may be but simply to understand that for them it is a big deal because they love. And then to love them and share their burden. Even if that simply means listening and really hearing.

I want to be more aware and more compassionate because of what I have experienced. I hope I am.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cheri:
Wow...you are really making me think this one through! I agree that somethings which are small to other people can be huge when it means a loved one is not well. My great-neice in Ontario is very ill (nothing major) and it's a big deal to me because I can't be there to comfort her. It's because I care. The same with other family members and friends who are dealing with their own crisis, big or small, but because it affects them, it's a big deal. Nothing is minor if you care. My neice and I just finished chatting...she said it helped. I hope so...I love that little one to bits.

I know this past while has been difficult for you and yours. Take care my friend...you are always remembered in thought and prayer....because people care.

Thelma

Elizabeth Cranmer said...

Beautiful. I love that you point out the lack of competition. That there should not be a bigger, better, worse, sadder competition. Just the basic need of love in whatever the trial. I feel like I was just visit taught.

I hope you and your family are finding and feeling the love that your hearts need.

Niki Carter said...

Well said. What a good way to look at it.