Sunday, August 12, 2012


It is a much sunnier day today than when I wrote my last post, and it's not as hot either.  I rambled around a bit on my bike enjoying the day and thinking of things to write about.  I  decided on the house below because the boy who used to live there came by my house last night looking for my son.

He used to live in this house with his young mother who was a lithe young girl in her early twenties.  At that time, she suffered from severe panic and could not leave her house.  Literally.  She would come outside onto the front yard, but that is as far as she would go.

When her little boy was old enough for school, she called me (I don't remember how she got my number or even how she knew me?) and asked me if I would pick up and drop off her boy from school when I took my own son.  Of course I did.  Her son was a nice little boy and no problem.

At the time, my son was undergoing treatment for leukemia, which meant he had to go to regular appointments at the children's hospital.  It was not the super high stress beginning of his chemotherapy treatment, but the appointments were always something I had to mentally gear up for.  I had to maintain an air of relaxed positivism to keep my son relaxed and cooperative when people were coming at him with needles.  I had to stay focused on the moment and not be overwhelmed by crushing mortal fears.
These appointments involved me picking up my son early from school, putting "sleepy cream" on his port-a-cath which was just under his collar bone, covering that with an adhesive called Tagederm, and driving him to the hospital where he would undergo several injections and a spinal tap.

So, I picked him up and was in the hospital when I got a call on my cell from the young mother with panic.  I had forgotten about her son!  I was supposed to bring him home and because I had picked my own son up early,  I had absolutely forgotten her boy at the school!

I apologized profusely.  Someone from the school had called when no came to get her boy at dismissal and luckily, there had been someone to give him a ride home.  But what a terror his mother must have gone through!  I felt so bad about this.  I never meant to scare her or her boy.  I had just been preoccupied with controlling my own terrors.

After that, I never forgot him again.  He rode along with us for the rest of that school year and the next. His mother gradually came out of her yard, and then moved away.  My son survived cancer.  And then, last night her son dropped by looking for my son--both of them grown taller than me and driving around on their own these days.  I guess her fear, and my fear, have somewhat abated.  Although a parent is always fearful.

 Here's a photo that reflects the lovely sunburst of today.  And below is a little fellow I saw when I was riding my bike around.  It's a little out of focus, but don't you just see that little grin on his face?


  1. I loved this story. Had no idea about your son. You are very strong.
    Great piece of writing here as always

  2. What a very touching story. And a very cheerful squirrel! Thanks so much for visiting my blog.

  3. what a lovely story. so glad you shared it with us.