“Mom? Are you awake?” The quiet voice came into the dark room from the silhouette of a fuzzy head in the hall light. “Mom? It’s me. I just came to tell you it’s my birthday. I’m five today and I’m going to open presents and…and…what am I going to do today?”
Some days, he might need to be reminded of what you do on a birthday as the scars present their challenges, but he didn’t need help remembering that he’s here and he’s five. And neither do I.
As I watch him open presents and I frost his cake, I find myself wanting to savor every second lest I never have graduations, weddings, and all those things that come with living long years.
Yet, as the fuzzy head tucked under my chin and the downy quilt early in the dark morning hours, I could hear his smile in the shadows and that colors the canvas of the day. The smile sounds spoke to my heart again: Chase chooses joy. Always joy.
“Mom?” His voice across the breakfast table; “why are you crying, Mom? I didn’t die of the cancer. I’m five!” And I wonder in my heart how such an old soul can be only five years young. Always joy.
“Let’s just start this fight, and then we’ll get him through radiation, and then we’ll hopefully get him to age three, and then four, and then five…” The doctor’s words always remind on this twelfth day of the last month. Five. The highest number listed in that year-by-year hope around the first conference table and diagnosis.
Today, my, precious, stubborn, tenacious, beat-the-odds, stare-it-down, never-say-die, don’t-mess, you-and-what-army Chase turns five with great joy.
We never thought we’d be here ever… and now we’re here.
God is good.