Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Kindness of Strangers

I'm amazed really, at how much it hurts. Each time that Tom goes through something, and after he's getting better, and the care-giver adrenaline subsides, I'm left with a wound. It hurts, and each time it surprises me at the severity and at the recurrence. 

Oh, and the timing. 

That's the kicker. It's been a little over a year since Tom had his transplant, and I think we all thought that most of these sorts of days and worries would be behind us. Yes, we expected some new worries; the rejection question, and his susceptibility to illness would be the big ones. But this other stuff, the CVS* type of sickness, or whatever it was that plagued Tom from November to March and caused him to lose over 30 days of school this year, no one quite expected that.


Yet, here it is, back again, for a brief stop or an extended run,  or something new is going on.


He's fine now, sort of. The Make-A-Wish trip/getting ill thing was horrible (and the Memorial Day weekend illness was a bit scary), but he made the best of it and at least got in the last day of E3. Fine for the rest of the time, and for the trip home. And he was fine for his last week of school/finals, and fine for his first week of summer vacay, but last night -  he vomited.


It's makes me sound a bit mad - getting all dramatic about a puke session. But when this has happened again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and then wethoughtitwasoverbuthegotdreadfullysickinLA - the drama is already built in.


Last night was hopefully a one-off. It could have been anything. Food at Chunky's didn't sit well? He was overtired from two sleepovers this week? Who knows. And he felt better after that one vomit. Been OK today, just a little tired.


And we've mostly recovered from the LA thing, that wound is healing. 


But I am covered in bruises. Not the cool kind I used to get at the dojo, although I feel like I must have earned some sort of new rank by now.  


These bruises are quite invisible, but just as real. These ones though, I didn't expect. I'm really sucker-punched, each time.


However...


I'm also hugely and amazingly amazed at the "kindness of strangers" Did I say amazing? I'm having a hard time processing it still.


Now I would imagine that an organization that knows they are dealing with a Make-A-Wish recipient is going go out of their way to please the kid. That makes sense. But what happened with Tom - I still don't know how to describe it.


Well, he's been getting stuff. Lots of stuff. I was putting pictures on Facebook, but I'm not going to do that anymore, I don't think. I don't appreciate these gifts any less, but I'm thinking it will look "showy". We pretty much expected these items, because all the gaming folk showed Tom stuff and then promised to ship these items out, but it's almost too much.


Don't misunderstand. This isn't a criticism of the gamers. It's incredibly cool. And we are receiving things in the same spirit, we get why they are doing this. 


But when I consider all this generosity, I'm still at a loss to describe how surreal it all feels at times.


This Reads: "We'd like to thank Tom Williams and his family for supporting our family. Bethesda Softworks" Yes, really.
But for now, I'll leave it with "humbling."


*Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

2 comments:

Chuck Igo said...

MK,
Words also escape me. When you think the downs have been upped, you find yourself, not unlike Cap'n Jack & his crew At World's End - up is down. The bruises are felt by all of us. Please keep sharing. The "showy-ness" if more than off-set by the realization of the two-steps-back you all face almost daily. OMG - I am always, and have been since day one, thankful for the health of the children we brought home from the hospital. I can barely imagine the anguish you & Dave must endure each and every day.
As a writer, I know the catharsis that comes from expression. It might not be on a personal level of expression, but the release of the creative or frustration or anger or what have you... that range of emotions which can be expressed in any manner or number of ways... creates a sense of reality that those who can not express themselves fully will never appreciate. I hope I worded that in a way to not sound sanctimonious or above-it-all. For you, Mary - write, release, embrace and tackle the next challenge. You've gotten this far and you will continue to do so.
Hugs from your buddy here in Maine.

Mary K. Williams said...

you worded it fine. I totally get what you meant. Thanks for commenting!