Getting it right

Having a child with cancer is a big deal. Actually, it is a Big Fucking Deal (with a capital BF and D). I can't speak for anyone else, but for me, it impacts nearly every decision I make. It changes how I view considering taking a weekend trip for myself. It changes how I view decisions about work and business travel. It changes how I feel about something like spending a couple hours away from my family to do something that I really enjoy like playing basketball. Tonight I felt so strongly that Susan and I made absolutely the right decision about a very important part of our lives.

I was sitting on the kitchen floor consoling my nearly 15 month old baby girl. She has been very much a Mommy's girl lately and her Mommy had left for choir rehearsal. Lauren stood crying at the top of the three stairs between the kitchen and family room for awhile before I scooped her up and sat down with her on the floor. I heard Nathan and Julia upstairs playing and thought to myself how strange it was to have children old enough to be off playing relatively unsupervised by themselves for a prolonged period of time. For a fleeting moment, maybe a half second or so, I thought to myself, "How nice this is! Why did we have another baby?". It was a quick thought. As I sat there on the kitchen floor and Lauren alternated between babbling about the letters on my sweatshirt, giving me hugs and kisses, and trying to figure out why the magnet would stick to the refrigerator and not my face, I realized that there was nothing that I would rather be spending my time doing.

I spent a fair amount of time today feeling sorry for myself for a variety of reasons. After my split second moment that reminded me how happy I was that we decided to have another baby and how much joy she brought to the lives of everyone in our family, I couldn't help but have a really nice couple of hours with just me and the kids.

It would have been a difficult decision whether or not to have a third child even if we didn't have a seriously ill child in the family. Given Nathan's illness it was so much harder. I can't express how thankful I am that we had a window in which it made sense to even consider having another child. And I feel so blessed and content and thankful that we made the decision that we did.

There are so many decisions that one makes throughout life that can be second guessed. Those decisions are more numerous and amplified when you are the parent of a seriously ill child. I had a really nice night tonight. And I'm so thankful and feel so blessed to be confident that Susan and I got a huge decision right.


Goodbye Gemma

I've met children that have died from this disease. I've followed the stories of lots of kids that have died from this disease. Gemma was different. I'm always sad when I hear that they are gone, but with Gemma we had a special bond. We met her and her wonderful family this past Fall in NYC. She was an amazing and beautiful little girl from Barcelona. She immediately found a place in our hearts and in a short time we grew to love her.

Gemma died on January 25, 2007.

Goodbye, Gemma. We love you.