I recently read a post on a board where a man who had had melanoma was considering if he should have a child or not, knowing that the odds of him being alive in 5 or 10 years aren’t that great.
The post made me think. Nathaniel was a wonderful surprise, but he wasn’t planned. We’d never really sat down and had a heart to heart about if melanoma would affect our decision to become parents or not. We just weren’t planning to have kids at that point.
I do remember one winter, John and I had been out walking and checking out footprints left in the snow. We both loved how it looked after a fresh snow and enjoyed going outside like kids on a snow day. I remember John having a snow ball fight with the horses once. They didn’t get it and were offended to have snow thrown at them.
We had foxes take up residence in the big field and were investigating the tracks. John and I shared the same theory with the wildlife. We don’t mind it around and actually enjoy seeing deer and foxes. But, if the foxes start being aggressive to our cats in our yard- the foxes have got to go. The woods is the foxes territory and we can’t prevent them from bothering our felines there, but the house is off limits.
The two of us had discovered the “small critter highway” and marveled at the number of tracks. It was like a little critter super highway. They must figure that they are shielded from view on the edge of the woods. We also theorized that the foxes should have no problems finding food.
We’d looked at the creek.
I remember taking a few moments to gaze at John.
He didn’t notice me. He hated when he caught me looking at him, but I just wanted to take everything in, to hold his image close to me. I loved his eyes… he called them green… I thought they were more of a grayish blue with maybe a hint of green. Nathaniel has the same color eyes. I loved the little wrinkle in the corner of John’s eyes and how he looked when he smiled with a twinkle in his eyes. I just tried to soak everything in. I wanted everything ingrained in my memory. I was so in love and I felt a fear in my heart thinking of the statistics and thinking to myself, I can’t lose him. He’s too strong… it won’t come back… we’ve beat it. But at the same time thinking… if it does and I lose him… I don’t want to be alone.
Nathaniel wasn’t planned, but Nathaniel gave John the happiest year and six days of his life. John loved being a dad and he was the best father. I know in my heart that John fought so hard because of Nathaniel. He gave him a reason to fight… a reason to live…a reason that was greater than self.
I am so grateful to have Nathaniel in my life. His smile and giggle are like nothing else in the world. John said that Nathaniel’s laugh was the best sound in the world. My little man keeps me going and keeps me smiling. I know as he grows he’ll remind me of his father in appearance and mannerisms. I look forward to those moments.
We never know what life has in store for us. We could be gone tomorrow or live another 80 years. Certainly their are ethical and moral issues of having a child with a cancer diagnosis (is it genetic, what are the effects on the child of experiencing loss, financial considerations, etc), but cancer shouldn’t control anyone’s lives and it shouldn’t stop people from living. We never know what treatments are around the corner and miracles do exist.
Everyday, I miss John. Everyday, I am thankful to have Nathaniel in my life.