Monday, June 18, 2007
Maren is 18. I was thinking today about things that happened in my 18th year. One year of college, a pepper spray incident, my first bout with mono, my first crush on someone over 20, a job turning bottles at the Pepsi plant (the 3p.m. to 1a.m. shift), I lived off lettuce and Count Chocula, and my cousin and I invented long walks together. I can't remember anything super, super tough.
At 18 Maren has already had mono twice (once very seriously), worked away from home for a summer, kept me sane, had a boyfriend (one who is REAL), and found that her boyfriend had cancer. Most importantly she has remained funny and kind through all of these things. Shortly after she missed the wedding of one of our sister's (due to mono) I picked her up to take her to the wedding dinner... even though she was sick sick sick and disappointed at having missed the wedding... she managed to be so incredibly funny. I tell people all the time how funny this sister is. They smile or nod, but they don't get it. She's not just funny, she's funny at times when you NEED it.
At 19 Adam has found out that his life was in serious danger 1 week before leaving for a mission. Diagnosed with a very serious cancer he has exhibited a mental and emotional toughness that I have never seen before. I am sure that there must be moments where he feels like this is unfair, but he has never shown that. He has battled like no one I have ever met. Never in my life would I have thought that my Sunday night would entail a visit to see my YOUNGER sister's boyfriend at Huntsman Cancer Institute and I never would have pictured laughing or smiling as much as I did tonight.
For this boy there was finally good news. Numerous MRIs taken last Friday could not find this tumor about which his life has revolved for the past months. Shock fell over his oncologist who had never considered this an even slimly thought of hope. She is not sure which direction this takes his treatment since they had planned for many many more months prior to this type of outcome. She has a meeting on Monday to discuss Adam with her fellow physicians at Huntsman.
If you could see this boy who has finally put on ten pounds to his cute lanky frame you would be so impressed. He walks in the hospital now and smiles when he hears his name again (even with those dreadful chemo bags at his side). This is the boy who has more strength than anyone I know. I did not know how hard he could fight when we first got news and I must say that it was tough to go through the motions of everyday life thinking about possible outcomes. I have noticed that age plays a much smaller role in life than I had ever thought. At 19 he has shown me that there is a way to be happy and to hope through anything.
I hope that you will all pray for the minds at Huntsman to be at their most sharp during the next couple of days. I would like to think that more good news awaits Adam and his family and to my sweet, funny sister.
Maren... thank you for tonight. I love that you inspire kindness in me even in times of hurt.