I remember my mother reciting a ditty to us when we complained as kids: “I complained I had not shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.”
Yesterday at chemo Bronwen and I sat across from a young couple in their early thirties. It was obviously her first time at chemo and they seemed a bit nervous. The staff were brilliant with them – I don’t know if Â nurses are picked especially because of their manner. I wonder if you can educate that empathy into staff without it being patronising. They are just so natural. (That’s the Christchurch Oncology staff anyway!)
I’m not sure what cancer the lady has. Her husband was showing pictures of their two young children (both pre-schoolers) who were being looked after by his parents. The wife talked of how she had left school at 16 and found a job and that had been her only job. She only had one boyfriend and she met him at work and now he is her husband and father of her children. It was a lovely idyllic story until along came the dark shadow of cancer to invade her life.
In an earlier blog I wrote about my concerns for Bronwen as she looks to eventually facing a future alone. How much more are those questions going through their minds? Â How do they hold back the tears when they tuck their little treasures into bed at night? And each other? What does he say to her and what is he not able say? How does she refrain from burdening her husband even more while she desparately needs a shoulder he is fortunately and obviously providing?
My heart ached for them and I prayed to the only One I know who can help and be the “everlasting arms underneath them”Â
As they left the chemo clinic she reached over and took his strong hand and looked up and smiled into his gentle face. They snuggled together as they waited for the elevator. A million dollars for your thoughts!!
My own eyes watered up and I reached for Bronwen’s hand. There are so many out there with their private griefs.