50 days in. Day +39 post transplant. God willing, Geoffrey will get to come home to Mama Micah’s tomorrow. At this point, this is where he knows home to be.
For 50 days, with very little exception, he has remained within the confines of four walls. There is a window to show him when it is day and night. There is a door that opens and closes as the medical team enters and leaves. But G has not physically gone beyond it. For many weeks, he has not asked to go outside of his room.
His imagination has allowed him to go to the beach and up to the mountains. His mat has been a sailboat. His bicycle is a Tesla car that must be plugged in and charged. His bed is an airplane that has taken him to places far and wide. And if I could rightly capture the wonder of his play, it would be among the most beautiful stories ever told.
The work of healing has been slow and hard. It has been exhausting and grueling. Equally, it has caused me to love in profound ways. I have mentioned it before, but being so near suffering has “given me a taste for kindness” like I have not known before. There have been tears cried out of loss and pain, but they have been equaled in the moments I am fully aware that miracles are in our midst. The impossible is being done.
During these months of treatment, G has received extensive chemotherapy, his sister’s bone marrow. His life has been sustained by intensive medical care, the loving-kindness of God, and a strong and wide community who has stood with G (and all of us).
After becoming a mom, I remembered this simple song I learned as a little girl. I sing it all of the time to my kids, and I have found Geoffrey singing it recently. The lyrics say: “Have patience, have patience. Don’t be in such a hurry. If you get impatient you only start to worry. Remember, remember that God is patient too. And think of the other times that others had to wait for you.”
Have patience. Don’t be in such a hurry. I have needed these reminders, more than a few times, over the last months. I feel as if it has been an opportunity to grow in trust and love. Although I don’t contain words for it, the journey is changing me. This week, I was led again to this prayer by Teilhard de Chardin. It tells much of what is held within my heart:
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.