Saturday, December 15, 2007
No Words (Updated)
****(We're home from the hospital and Ben is recovering well. We don't have biopsy results yet, however. I'll post more, with a full update, after a powernap - promise.)****

* * * * *

In this life I’ve lived, full of abandonment and conditional love; through foster homes and bus passes to relatives, I’ve known things capable of taking the color out of life. I’ve known abuse and molestation. I’ve known words that sting harder and longer than the palm of a hand or curled fist.

But despite all that, I willed myself to break the cycle; when my first child was just a squiggling thing on an ultrasound monitor, I took my duty to parent him seriously. I went to school and collected majors like trinkets. Child development, Child Psychology, Psychology, Early Childhood Education, Special Education and all its sub-categories. I took courses until I ran out of courses to take. I walked away with two degrees: neither one intended, because it wasn’t about career goals; it was about never becoming like my mother or any of the adults whose care I’d been entrusted to over the years.

My children spent their younger years in a house set up like a preschool . . . messy science and art projects all over the place and a kitchen whose utensils became musical instruments. They never attended a school in which I didn’t teach. The degrees came in handy for the I.E.P. meetings and special education classrooms and schools they both needed to work through their learning disabilities.

The teen years came like teen years can. Despite my determination to make education central in their lives, they’ve both continued to struggle. It’s been no secret here the path my son chose to take . . . one landing him in military school. The last few years with him have been difficult, as I’ve let go of dreams of college, relented to the idea he might become, like his father, a fisherman in a dangerous ocean, with only a G.E.D. in hand. As a parent, I’ve been disappointed and questioned myself a million times: Did I do TOO much in the early years? Did he end up feeling entitled rather than motivated? And I’ve had those thoughts few parents will admit to: “I can’t WAIT until he’s out of the house!” But no matter what our kids do to disappoint us, hope never really dies, even when it’s time to step away and let them sink or swim all by themselves. Words from parent of the year? Probably not; but they are honest.

And then last week, he came to me as I sat here at this computer and said “Mom, I have this weird lump in my neck.” He’d had a cold, so I figured a swollen lymph node. I might have been saying just that when I put my hand on the place he lead it to and knew, immediately, it was his thyroid and the lump was large.

We were at his pediatrician’s the next morning, and then to the hospital for an ultrasound, where they called in the pediatric radiologist and the techs all talked in worried hushes. And within hours we were swooped up into what we now call The Cancer Machine – appointments here and there, long days forgetting to eat, long nights filled with worry. Last week we landed in the office of United State’s top cancer surgeon and this Wednesday, my son, Ben, will be in his surgical suite, having his thyroid removed and awaiting biopsy results.

And while we wait, the color has gone out of life, in a way it never has before, despite all the places I’ve been and all the things I’ve seen.

And all those dreams of just last week have gone by the wayside while I dream of something so simple: a benign pathology report.

So, if you’re reading, please keep him in your thoughts . . .

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Rhonda Ruminated at 7:17 PM | Permalink |

25 Ruminations:

  • At 2:41 AM, Blogger Kim Ayres

    Oh Rhonda...


    My thoughts are with him, and you.

  • At 6:28 AM, Blogger Possum

    (((Rhonda))) & (((Ben))).
    Sending hugs from down here in AUS - where they're stronger & more powerful than anywhere else!!
    Thinking of you.
    Poss. xxxxx

  • At 7:57 AM, Blogger Andie D.

    Oh wow Rhonda. I often wonder what's going to become of my own Ben. I too want better for him than I had.

    I will be thinking of you all & hoping for the best.


  • At 5:32 PM, Blogger elizabeth

    You and Ben will be in my thoughts. {{{{Rhonda}}}}

    I'm here if you need to talk.

    I'm so sorry you are going through this.

  • At 6:26 PM, Blogger joy

    Your family is in my prayers, I am so sorry.

  • At 7:21 PM, Blogger Nina


    Hoping and praying for the best possible outcome...and for strength. Thinking of you and your son. Will be checking back. I have two teenage daughters and can imagine the agony you are experiencing.

  • At 7:52 PM, Blogger Ungrateful Little Bastard

    I'm so sorry, how scary. Your family is in my thoughts.

  • At 8:38 PM, Blogger Gershom

    You are in my is your son. If anyone is strong it is you, you and your son will make it through this, together.

  • At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Amyadoptee

    You both are in my prayers. I pray everything works out for you.

  • At 9:17 AM, Anonymous dory

    As a parent this post made my heart stop. I will keep you and your son in my thoughts and wishes for a successful surgery and renewed health.

  • At 2:21 PM, Blogger Mel

    You'd better believe I'll have him, and you, in my thoughts. My heart just stopped when I read this.
    Keep us posted, Rhonda.
    And (((You)))

  • At 7:27 PM, Blogger Julie

    In my thoughts and prayers, yes, both of you. Hoping, too, for a benign pathology report. Meanwhile, make sure Ben eats plenty of lupeol-rich foods like mangos, strawberries, grapes, and olives.

  • At 10:34 AM, Blogger Still Born

    Hoping for the very best for all of you. Remember: Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, then it's not the end.

  • At 10:41 AM, Anonymous jim

    Yes, I will keep your son and you in my thoughts and prayers for a positive outcome. There is nothing more frightening than the unknown, especially when it's our children's health. Hugs!

  • At 11:44 PM, Blogger Chris H

    My thoughts are with you at this time, I hope maybe by now you have had some good news! MERRY CHRISTMAS from all the way across the world in New Zealand. I was 'directed' to visit you by Attila!

  • At 4:29 AM, Blogger Loz

    Hi Rhonda - Merry Christmas to you and yours from Melbourne Australia

  • At 5:33 AM, Blogger golfwidow

    Have as happy a holiday as you can. We are thinking of you.

  • At 7:33 AM, Blogger DutchBitch

    Over here from Attila's: I wish you so much strength! Nothing can be scarier than this, I'd imagine

  • At 2:04 PM, Blogger Stinkypaw

    Merry Christmas to you and yours. Sending you good thoughts and stay strong.

    P.S. Was sent over from Attila's

  • At 2:59 PM, Blogger kim

    I will be thinking of you and your son Rhonda * hugs*
    I hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy News for New Years

  • At 6:50 PM, Anonymous

    Attilla sent me over... My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.... If it helps my son aged 3 went thru the same thing and luckily all came back well. I'm hoping the same goes for you...

  • At 10:39 AM, Anonymous warcrygirl

    Here's hoping the prognosis is good and the biopsy comes back negative. Hope you and your family had a good Christmas despite what's going on.

    Found you via Attila the Mom.

    P.S. I too have a child who was delayed and I've been told that I'd make a good home school teacher. I don't have the degrees you have though but one day I will.

  • At 8:40 PM, Blogger Jennifer McKenzie

    *crosses fingers, toes, arms, legs, AND eyes. Prays REALLY hard*

    I hope it is benign.

    I've always loved stopping by here. My thoughts are with you.

  • At 10:28 PM, Blogger Ann(ie)

    I found you via my dear bloggy friend Attila and I'm so glad I did. You are in my thoughts and prayers, love. My boys name is Ben, too. And he is my entire world. I know your sweet boy will get through this. xo.

  • At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Valerie Marie

    I know you from ATM's blog. I pray for you son.((hug))


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