I walked through my kitchen this week and the sight I beheld across the room into my family room caused me to stop dead in my tracks. My body’s physical reaction is difficult to put into words. It was mixture of nauseous and weakness along with a heightend sense of adrenaline.
Cue the emotional and dreadful music.
Hold your breath.
Wait for it.
Thomas and Friends was on my tv. My 6th grade son was laying on the couch covered in a blanket and staring at the screen.
Granted, this may not sound like your typical horror scene. I don’t think the little blue train with the happy talking face has been a villain in many settings. He and his colorful train friends are actually quite cute and sweet.
But it’s not them, it’s me. I associate those talking trains with something else. Something painful. Something sad.
The same lanky preteen boy who now lays on the couch fighting pneumonia was once a toddler diagnosed with leukemia. We spent over three years watching this boy get chemo treatments and we lived in isolation. Our most frequent companions were the colorful trains from Thomas and Friends. James, Percy, Gordon, Thomas, Edward… I can still quote many of their friendly British lines.
But it has been over six years since our son finished chemo and he is now a happy and cancer-free middle schooler. He’s active in sports, does his homework, and rarely sits still.
That is until this week when he caught a nasty virus that decided to settle in his left lung and cause him to miss several days of school. It’s pneumonia, but it’s not cancer. It’s “one of those things” that he probably caught from the germ smorgasbord known as public school. It is unrelated to the cancer. It is going to be okay.
But as I walked through the kitchen and saw him sick on the couch not caring enough or possessing the energy to change the channel when Thomas and Friends came on PBS, I stopped and took notice.
Not this again. Please!
After I caught my breath, I took a picture on my smartphone and texted it to my husband. He understood its meaning without much explanation.
“This makes me sick too,” he replied. “But remember how far we have come and that this is not our norm anymore.”
Yes. Another quote I want to commit to memory.
This is not our norm anymore. Time has passed. Change has come.
Our son is healthy. Our God and brilliant doctors helped to heal him.
It took me a few minutes to calm my heart rate and sooth my nerves, but the moment and the perspective I gained have stayed with me.
Sometimes, remembering where you’ve been brings gratitude.
Sometimes, seeing how far you’ve come brings hope.
Sometimes a little blue talking train can remind you that healing does in fact come with the passing of time.
This post is part of the Five Minute Friday community where writers are encouraged to write on a topic for about 5 minutes based on a one-word prompt. This week’s word: HEAL