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We had a very busy day.  There was a graduation party, a great pool party for Trey, and the honor of Trey cutting the ribbon for a cancer patients lap for a caner charity.  So much doing, driving back and forth, and conversations.  However, one conversation was by the most painful moment of the day for me.  Another conversation was the best.
     A certain staff member of a certain organization asked me what type of cancer Trey has.  She was busy but attentive.  When I got to the point where I was talking about his surgery last August (if you don’t know, it did not go well, he almost died) she interrupted me.  “Do you know So N. Sew from this certain local restaurant?” She asked me.  She continued, “well, his daughter had a terrible diagnosis and she’s 12 now.”  Well how about that?  Good for them I guess.
     As per my posts on emotional needs and comfort, you can begin to see that this was the worst part of my day.  Not only did she not listen to me (shows a lack of attention and respect) but something else hurt.  By telling me that someone else had a child who has survived cancer she is saying that we haven’t considered that?  She is saying that we should not allow for the fact the he very well may (or will) die?  Then, it hit me.  It was a total lack of respect.  You see, Rachel and I have worked very hard emotionally to wrap our minds and hearts around the fact that God may simply have ordained Trey to live 4 or 5 years.  If He so chooses to heal him then we will celebrate the miracle.  Yet, for this woman to tell us to look at someone else is to say we are “wrong” to feel the way we do.  That we are wrong for where we are emotionally.  To a degree, that we are bad parents for resigning ourselves to what the doctors say will most likely happen.  She was trying to encourage, she did the opposite.  She meant no harm.  She caused some.  If she thought she was comforting, she wasn’t even close.
     Later that evening, I picked up some wings at a local place.  While I waited for them to be done (this could have been the worst part of my day, I don’t like to wait for wings…or anything else) I started speaking with several employees.  I just had to tell them a joke that I had thought of earlier in the day.  It was really, really insensitive and not something I could share with too many people (oh, I won’t be sharing the joke with you today…sorry.  Did I mention it was insensitive?).  Anyhow, I asked them if they wanted to hear it but warned them I had to get them “up to speed on my son” before sharing it.  They agreed and I told them, “Look, my son has cancer and the doctors say it’s terminal…” They partially reacted non verbally but stayed with me.  As I finished my story they were all laughing WITH me.  The one girl gave me my wings and my change, including 8 dimes (who wants 8 dimes?).  I said, “My son has cancer and you give me all dimes?”  They all cracked up.  None of them judged me, none of them shook their head at me, none gave me the “oh, you’re in denial” face.  Nope, they were WITH me.
     “Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.”  You see, I wasn’t mourning on this day.  I was simply telling a woman a story.  She felt the need to interrupt me, encourage me, to give me hope, to meet a need I wasn’t even looking to have met.  Yet, when I really needed someone to laugh with me, to join me in my emotion of, oh, inappropriate joy?  The wing folks were there for me.  The wings were really good too.
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