After a somewhat less then stressful day I sat back and watched local news. I saw something that saddened me to no end. It shook me. A story that began in the last year but seemingly does not end. The story of a little boy, his sister, a family and tragedy. It made me wonder. When is enough, enough? How much can one person, one couple, one family possibly bear?
The story began when a two year old boy was diagnosed with leukemia. A thought that sends fear through all of us. How is that fair? How can that happen? But, as we all know, it does happen. It started a battle. A battle against an unknown enemy. A battle that can be won but far too often is lost. The parents had the courage. They had the love. They were going to make it happen. They pulled up their family and moved from Northwestern Manitoba to live near the hospital in Winnipeg. They began the treatment that comes with cancer. They had hope. The little guy fought hard. It appeared that they were winning. Then right around Christmas they got the news they had hoped they would not hear. Little Larsen had a relapse. Like a knockout punch, it sent the parents reeling.
I spent some time in talking to the father in January. I had just finished a presentation on stress management. Already I could tell that he was utilizing many of the tools I had just presented on. But, I felt helpless. How could I possibly help someone that had experienced so much. Much more then I could possibly fathom. I felt inadequate. I let him talk. I listened. It was obviously a difficult time for them. As we went our separate ways I commended him for talking. I challenged him to keep talking, to find his supports. I wished him well.
Tonight, as I watched the news, I saw another chapter in the story unfold in this ongoing tale of sadness. Last week they found out that Larsen had relapsed, again. Another devastating blow. When is enough, enough? So they packed up and went back to Winnipeg. More time at the hospital. More tests. More pain. The good news, his sister is a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant. His sister is a few years older than him. Will she understand? What does she have to go through to do this? More unknowns. More fear. More anxiety. How does one ever explain this to kids so that it makes sense to them.
And if that is not enough. Shortly after their return trip to Winnipeg, the family found out that their house had burnt. A house that they had just built four years ago. Destroyed. All their belongings gone. A few pictures saved. When is enough, enough? On their Facebook page the mother says they are so thankful that no one was hurt in the fire. That their priority is to get Larsen cancer-free. In a press conference they talked about their situation in a very calm manner. Amazing resilience. Puts things into perspective.
So at the outset I asked a question. When is enough, enough? I didn’t answer the question because the more I try the more I am left to wonder. Lives have been changed and continue changing. This family has experienced so much. Makes me feel guilty for not feeling satisfied with life. Makes me feel thankful for what I have. Here is wishing the family all the best as their journey continues. Here is hoping that enough is enough. Here is hoping that they find ways to cope, to survive, to face another day. To cope as individuals, as parents, as a brother, as a sister. And most of all I hope for a recovery for little Larsen.