Letters To A Dying Boy

January 19, 2012

(UPDATE BELOW) Tomorrow, Tanner will undergo a surgery that will, hopefully, prolong his life. But it’s a dangerous surgery, and he and his mom, my sister, have had to travel far from home and family for this surgery, and she’s scared, we’re all scared, and it’s hard. The struggle around the bullying before the holidays seems – for better or for worse – far away and insignificant; what matters now is that he get through this, that my sister gets through this, and that getting through this serves its purpose, that it yields more time with him, and good time with him.

Chrissie is scared, as I said, but she’s also resigned. In a good way, I think, which is to say, in a healthy way. It feels wrong to speak of resignation in the face of one’s child’s death as a good or healthy thing, but there it is. The better word, I guess, is acceptance. And acceptance is necessary, because Tanner’s fate will not change.

Still, still. It is so hard.

From Chrissie:

This is a test, a test of my strength and my family’s. Not of Tanner’s strength, he is the most courageuos person I know. He has not run marathons, nor done five Bikram classes in one day, and he can barely eat on his own now… but he is my HERO. I have done all of that in his name because I know the courage it takes for him and other children, who may not have DMD but who nonetheless face challenges, every day. Even on my worst day, I look at this gorgeous happy little man and I am in awe. Of the courage and strength and grace with which he faces each day. Mr Magoo, I love you.

Family is so important. I posted a picture today of mine, and out of the blue someone reminded me of how amazing my family was and is, the memories, of what molded me to be who I am… My parents, my sister, and all the of times we shared and laughed. My Mom and Dad gave my sister and I the world. They made us who we are. Thank you. Dad, you are always with us, with me. Mom, I can’t imagine a day where I cant talk to you… I strive to be that for my children. And to the friends in my life and the people I have met, I am blessed to have a list too long to name without making this note a few pages, but you know who you are.

And to Tanner, Booger, I love you. I know how hard it is every day for you. I know the courage it takes for you. To have lost your independance, slowly each day, to watch other children run and be free… I would lay my life down for you. So many people know you and love you..and others, well they will never understand the beauty and power of love. You have touched me and so many people… thank you, my baby. You were a cherub when you were born and you have blessed my life. xo


There are no words to add to that.

Please wish her love and strength.

UPDATE (from my mom):

Hi Cath
just talked to your sister – Tanner is out of surgery – he is in ICU but he appears to be okay.  He still has the breathing tube, but surgeon thinks it won’t be in too long. Tanner freaked out just before he went under – so his first words to Chrissi, after surgery, were “did I ask you if I was dead”.  In retrospect his freakout was probably good, because now the relief he feels about waking up is a big happy.
Love Mom
Your warm thoughts and well wishes and prayers have been and continue to be so, so appreciated. THANK YOU.
Here’s to big happys.


{ Comments on this entry are closed }

In The In-Between

August 9, 2011

This week is a difficult one for me. It’s a week that would be challenging anyway – the first full week in August after BlogHer is one in which I am always drained and exhausted – but this is the second year of it being especially challenging – or the third, although I usually don’t [...]

Keep reading…

All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

May 5, 2011

I should know by now that when my sister posts on my Facebook wall, it’s a bad sign, because my sister – bless her – believes that Facebook is the best way to reach me when there’s something urgent to communicate. That she could also reach me by phone or email – I’ll grant that [...]

28 comments Keep reading…

The Lonely Cry Of The Selfless Mom

March 25, 2011

The other week, my mom wrote about something that I’d been unable to write about: my sister’s struggle to cope as the single mom of a dying and disabled child, and the dark, difficult space of that struggle, and the breakdown that came when that space became too difficult to occupy. I’d been unable to [...]

Keep reading…

Going Far Ahead Of The Road

December 30, 2010

My eyes already touch the sunny hill. going far ahead of the road I have begun. So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp; it has inner light, even from a distance- and changes us, even if we do not reach it, into something else, which, hardly sensing it, we already are; a gesture [...]

Keep reading…

Bring Us Goodness And Light

December 20, 2010

I love Christmas. I love it with the fiery heat of a blazing winter fire and a million twinkling fairy lights. I love the sparkle and the twinkle and the plum pudding and the eggnog and the tinsel and the gift wrap and the stockings and the carols and the hymns and the stories, all [...]

Keep reading…

Her Hand I Held

October 21, 2010

When my sister was very young, she appointed herself my protector. It didn’t matter that she was two years younger: I was a shy, ashmatic child, gangling of limb and totally lacking in physical grace, whereas she was athletic and boisterous and tending toward ferociousness, and those qualities more than made up for our age [...]

Keep reading…

We Don’t Need Another Hero

October 19, 2010

I love this boy. I can’t save this boy. Nor can I save his mother’s heart from breaking. Nor can I save my own. But I have to let go of this idea that I should be able to save anybody. I have to let go of the idea that anything short of wholesale rescue, [...]

Keep reading…

If Wishes Were Horses, I Wouldn’t Need Air Canada

October 15, 2010

This weekend I’m flying out west to visit Tanner and family, and to say that my anticipation is bittersweet is understatement in the extreme. I am, of course, thrilled to be seeing them, and to be seeing him, and, because I am making this trip to get things started on Tanner’s Biggest Wish Project, there’s [...]

Keep reading…

I Was Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop, And Then…

October 5, 2010

This is turning out to be one of those weeks that is usually described as one of those weeks. I have a really bad head cold. Jasper isn’t sleeping. It’s raining outside. Somebody died, and it was the kind of death that’s difficult to explain to neighbours who catch you on your front porch, sobbing. [...]

55 comments Keep reading…