I was sitting quietly at the dining room table while the boys played in the living room. A full cup of black coffee rested on a crumb laden surface, and a bowl of oatmeal sat untouched. I felt a familiar knot rise up in my chest as a heavy tension seeped through my body, conquering mind and muscle with ease. This overwhelming flood was a result of all the unknowns that had recently landed in my lap – and swallowing a radioactive pill was next on the tall order of tasks. With each passing day I was becoming more anxious and more aloof. I was stuck at a red light, waiting to find out the exact date I would be ingesting the radioactive iodine.
I could hear the boys zooming race cars across the surface of the sofa while I took a quiet moment to cry. My shoulders trembled as my head curled forward into my hands. Everything felt so very heavy that morning as I considered past months and those yet to come. I was thinking through the idea that there is light in the midst of darkness. I had come to believe this, but in that very moment it didn’t feel quite true. I was longing for the ways of my old life, before the diagnosis. I was exhausted, physically and mentally. I was sick of adhering to my low iodine diet. I wanted this whole ordeal to be over and done with. Instead, it was dragging on and on indefinitely. Staring at my still full cup of coffee, I wondered, “Where is the good in all of this? Where is the hope, the love, the peace, right now?” I couldn’t find it.
As my mind wandered and tears hovered on my cheeks, the good found me. I felt it gently wrap its arms around my waist and lean into me. I looked down to see a blonde head and bright eyes resting on my lap as two little arms embraced me tightly. I smiled, “Jackie, how did you know that was exactly what I needed?”
“I just did, Mama,” he replied. I held him close for a minute and then he was gone again, back to playing cars. But the moment would linger for me. Hope and love and peace had answered, right on cue. Right in the middle of all my doubts. In Jackson’s simple gesture I heard the universe softly whisper, “Didn’t you know? Didn’t you know that all the good – the hope and love and peace – often masquerades right in plain sight under the guise of growing little boys?”
It was true. So very very true.