Friday, March 31, 2006

A Message to a Very Special Person

Each day I find myself in the parent lounge at the hospital, talking to one of the mothers who's child is receiving treatment for their cancer. Some mothers that have come to be with their child live relatively close to Toronto like Durham, Mississauga, and Etobicoke, others live further away and travelled from the Ontario-Quebec border, and still, some come from as far away as New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Their children's ages range from 3 months to 18 years and their child's reason for receiving treatment are all different. That said, these mothers have one thing in common, they have put their life on hold to be with their child. Day in and day out, you will find them at the hospital either talking with doctors, gowning up to enter their child's room, or discussing what their child's white blood cell count is with another mother in hopes that it reaches that magic number so they may bring their baby home.

When I go to sit down at the computer to write my article for the day I am usually unsure what story or information I will pass on to the friends and family that read this web log. Sometimes I look at the pictures that were taken for the day, other times I will write about some treatment that the doctors have been discussing with us, but today's article has been in my mind for quite some time now.

Parker's diagnosis with ADA has been extremely hard on everyone in our family. The thought of not being able to see Parker, the concept of Parker living out his first year in isolation, and the uncertainty of whether his treatment will be successful is difficult for everyone. But today, this article is not about everyone. It is about my wife.

As a man, I cannot imagine what it was like for my wife to carry my child inside her for 9 months, to know how it felt as she gave birth, or to even conceptualise the bond that she had with Parker whenever she breastfed him. But even more difficult to imagine is how she felt after her little boy got sick and how all the breastfeeding and cuddling in the world could not make him better.

Each day, I get up in the morning and go to work, and each day my wife gets up and goes to the hospital where she can be with her son. She arrives at the hospital between eight and nine, puts on her sterile boots, hairnet, mask, gloves and gown and enters the isolation room where she stays with Parker until we leave that night around eight o'clock. Everyday she puts on a big smile underneath the mask that covers most of her face, opens up her eyes as wide as she can, and sings to him so he can hear her voice. She does this religiously in hopes that he will soon smile back at her.

Everyone I have ever spoken with has always said the same thing. Parker acts completely different when he is with his mother. He settles much more quickly and is definately less fussy when she is around. I have come to realise that there is a very special bond between a mother and her baby and each day I am lucky enough to witness that bond as my wife holds her son close to her body and kisses him through her mask. Now, I understand that Parker has yet to master the concept of language, but I know in my heart that there is a message he would like me to pass on to his mother.

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Please know that everytime I see your eyes wide open and hear the songs that come from your direction I know you are smiling at me from behind that mask.
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I love you.
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11 comments:

Natalie said...

Parker Poo,

Wow, Your Daddy is so right in saying that your Mommy is so amazing. She has been so strong going through all of the stages you have reached. Your Mommy and Daddy are both so strong and amazing people. I know that you are a lucky little boy to be blessed with such wonderful parents. Please tell your Mommy and Daddy that I also feel so blessed to have them in my life...they are also such committed & generous friends. Your Mommy has helped me to get through so many difficult parts in my life and I know that she will get you through this part of your life. I hope that you get to hear your Mommy's laughter often because it is such a wonderful sound to hear. Give your Mommy a hug and a kiss for me and tell her that I love her very much - just as I love you too pumpkin. Keep smiling into your mothers eyes and know that she is smiling back at you!

Love,
Auntie Natalie xoxoxox

nonna said...

Hi Parker,your Dad has said a lot of very true and loving things today,all of which we are all completely in agreement with.Nonna and Nonno luv you very much Parker but we also Luv your Mommy and Daddy just as much for being so caring and patient with you and everyone around them each day.

Luv you handsome boy Nonno and Nonna!

coolauntiekatie said...

Hiya Parkerpants!

What a wonderful article. I of course cried (as I know Nana will for sure):) Your Mommy and Daddy are special people, and they know how much you love them and how grateful you are for all their support, because you keep showing them with how strong you are!! Every time you accomplish a little more at feeding time, or smile a winning smile......you're letting them know how incredibly important they are to you. You are living proof of what matters in this life Parker. You really help put the important things in life into perspective. We love you so much!

Auntie Kate xoxoxo

Uncle Mikey said...

Parky,

Your daddy wrote the sweetest article ever. I can't imagine what it must be like for your mommy and daddy to go through what they do everyday. They love you sooo much as do we!
Lotsa love Parker,
we miss you!

Love always,
Auntie Christine

nana said...

My precious little man:

How amazing is your Daddy's tribute to your Mommy. You are so blessed to have such a wonderful and loving mother whose special bond between mother and son will NEVER be broken (and yes I cried when I read those well deserved words of praise). Your mommy and daddy will always do whatever it takes to protect you from harm and they will always love you with every fibre of their being, of this you can be sure. You are their pride and joy and the love of their life and always will be no matter what age you are. Keep being the strong little man you are and let everyone's positive strength and energy help you along as you face your challenges each and every day. We know you can do it. Alway know that all of our love and thoughts are with you always.

We love you and your mommy and daddy more today (but not as much as tomorrow - just as the song goes)and that will never change.

Nana and Granddad xoxoxox

Funny Face said...

Parker,

I have been a friend of your father's for many years, and in all those years I have never seen him as in love or devoted to anyone like he is with your mother. Your mother became an instant friend when I met her and she has been in love with you since the day she found out she was pregnant. You are lucky to have two very loving and strong parents who support each other and that strength is given to you daily. As I sit with my daughter at night I often think of you and your mother and how hard this is for her. Just remember Parker we are all there for you and your parents when ever they need...everyone is just a quick call away.

love you guys tons!

Laura, Craig and Elizabeth

FrancineElizabeth said...

Hello Sweet Parker,

I haven't spoken to you in a couple of days, but you have been in my thoughts and prayers!
Boy, your daddy is a very sensitive man... he made me cry with all of the wonderful things he said about your mommy. Your daddy is absolutely right. The love that your mommy feels for you is greater than you will ever understand or realize. You are her little angel and I can see why. You are such a strong little boy with such a zest for life already.
Your mommy worries that maybe you can't see her smiles like she would want, but I know you can because her eyes and the love she gives tell it all. Right? You know.... Nothing can disguise the love your parents feel for you, especially not a little piece of cloth. Keep making your momma smile and laugh with your joy and wonder because she (and your daddy) live for that.
Sleep well tonight and have more fun tomorrow.
Love Auntie Franni and the boyz

leafFan said...

Hi Parker:It took us a while to get on this web site, couldn't do it til your daddy helped us, actually he set it up for us. We're here in Florida with your great nona thinking of you every day and we're so proud of you for being such a great fighter we know you'll be an inspiration in the future for other kids fighting this disease. So keep up the good work, Uncle Benny wishes his beloved MAPLE LEAFS had your fight. Hope Mommy and Daddy are as strong as you.

love from

uncle benny and auntie carol and great nonna

Natalie said...

Tracy & Parker Poo,

Just a quick message to let you both know that I absolutely love the first picture of you and your Mommy! You are both so cute! Can I get a copy of this picture to put up in my house Parker Poo? I would love one!

Love,
Auntie Natalie xox

Elizabeth said...

Parker,

I'm left speechless as I read that message from your dad to your mom - if ever anyone can ever have a glimpse of all the love that is contained in your family, then they are truly lucky in life. Your dad loves your mom so much, and they both love you very much. All you have to do is read your daddy's words, and see the beautiful smile that your mommy has in her eyes.

And although maybe you can't see or hear all of your friends and family out there, we all care about you so very much as well - you are so well loved!

Love Elizabeth

Allyson said...

Ok-that should have come with a warning-it is wrong to cry at work? You guys amaze me and I think of all of you all the time-GIANT HUGS!!!!!!!!!!! Allyson