The truth should not be hidden from children, and yet it must be told in a compassionate way that eases fear and worry. Nine years ago (in April of 2010) a story called When Your Mom Has Cancer tackled what it takes to be forthright, loving, cancer-fighters. It takes an army of carers, children included, to emerge resilient from that kind of fight. Hope can either take flight or fizzle out. What we do and don’t do matters for all the children yet to take the journey.
“Wouldn’t it be amazing if those children helped to erase the disease from the future of mankind? The first key is to help with healthy understanding and the teaching of compassion.” Dr. Rebecca Baskin’s comment raises the bar for providing a voice and coping tools during the fight, and in the years beyond.
The truth that burns inside our hearts and minds is directly authored from experience, the good and the bad. Subsequent ripple effects become a powerful teacher with ongoing life lessons. “That’s an apt title, When Mom’s Cancer Doesn’t Go Away, because the disease itself leaves with the person but what it causes doesn’t go away, especially on the emotional side.” These are the kind of comments that emerge when I meet with families and businesses alike. Sitting down to talk about upcoming events opens doors; it opens hearts and minds too. Losing mom at age 3, 15, 19, or 24 leaves gaps that don’t go away and lessons one would rather not learn, but gradually come to appreciate and even pass along to another.
When the truth we carry home is overflowing with hope (as in Romans) instead of confusion, doubt and fear, then ripple effects can serve to empower young and old. What we carry home (in our hearts and minds and into relationships) has potential well beyond what we see in any given moment. These are the conversations I’ve had lately in opening doors about why hope matters. Grown men are revisiting their loss of mom (too soon) and bringing forth ripple effects and healing potential for children filling their shoes. There is peace and joy found in loss.
It is worth noting again. The truth should not be hidden from children, and yet it must be told in a compassionate way that eases fear and worry. There is ample opportunity for healthy understanding and the teaching of compassion to the child tucked inside each of us. Yes, it would be amazing if cancer could be erased (along with Alzheimer’s and ____ fill in the blank) by tomorrow’s generation of scientists, physicians, care-partners, etc. In the meantime, we must not tire of doing good when there is so much good still to be done in this hurting world. Let’s keep raising the bar. Hope always wins.
As a fun fact, here is the impact of our community celebrating hope!