We just passed a six-year milestone for our family. In May 2008, our son Sam (currently an ACS grade 11 student) went to the hospital with his mom because we thought he had the flu. After tests and many worrisome conversations with the E.R. staff, they determined that he likely had Leukemia. We were on an air ambulance flight to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver four hours later. At the time we were living in Prince George, 800 km north of Vancouver. Debbie and Sam did not return home again until five months later. Those were difficult days.
My Yoke is Easy and My Burden is Light
The first ten days after Sam’s diagnosis were brutal days. I slept on the floor in his room in the hospital and woke up with him every four hours as they gave chemo, blood transfusions and anti-nausea medication. He had bone marrow biopsies, spinal injections and surgery to insert a Vascular Access Device. Two weeks later, Debbie moved into a borrowed apartment in White Rock with Sam and we started a long three-and-a-half-year journey toward healing. We could not have done it alone.
There is a great song by Brian McLaren and Steve Bell called Kindness. It goes like this:
Christ has no body here but ours
No hands no feet here on earth but ours.
Ours are the eyes through which he looks
On this world with kindness
Ours are the hands through which he works
Ours are the feet on which he moves
Ours are the voices through which he speaks
To this world with kindness
Through our touch, our smile, our listening ear
Embodied in us, Jesus is living here
Let us go now, inspirited
Into this world with kindness
We experienced kindness from so many people. A lawyer in our community paid for all of our flights to BCCH for three years. The school did a “Shave for the Brave” for Sam (55 students and staff shaved their heads) and raised money to pay for our Vancouver expenses. People sent care packages, looked after our yard, took in our dog, visited Sam in White Rock and sent letters and emails of encouragement. Our best friends drove down for weekends to visit and encourage Sam in the hospital. So many people were the hands and feet, the touch, the smile, and the listening ear to lighten our burden and ease our difficult days.
No Shortage of Options
Sam finished his 28 spinal injections and chemotherapy on September 17, 2011, during our first year at ACS. We always prayed this journey would be his cure, and so far, the doctors tell us he is doing great. But I look differently at people around me who need our help today after being the recipient of such care during those years. How will you help someone in need around you to show a part of your world the kindness of Christ today? That is a question we ask ourselves often and there is never a shortage of options for the answer.
For more information about our journey, you can visit Sam’s blog (it reads chronologically from the bottom, up).