Visit Rebekah's Page to get updates, read messages and send messages to Rebekah and her family through comments. This is a public "diary" of a family whose little girl started a battle with inoperable cancer in April 2005. In December 2007 our house burned down. And in September 2009 Mommy was diagnosed with a terminal disease (a genetic form of ALS) that took her to Heaven in July, 2011, leaving Daddy and two young girls to make it on their own. Over several years of ups and downs, you will get into our hearts, minds and souls as we share joys and sorrows. It can sometimes be very difficult to read. We hope it is also uplifting. Please find joy in what you read here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sibling Empathy

I have mentioned before that I am on a list for people affected by Ewing's Sarcoma. This week, I received the messsage below from one of the other moms on the list. With her permission, I am posting it here. I hope that it will get you thinking.

Her daughter Delaney's tumor was located in similar areas to Rebekah's and her treatment was also similar to Rebekah's. As I read the post, it brought tears to my eyes. I can see Sarah being much like Joshua as she grows older. It breaks my heart that Delaney and Joshua have to go through situations like this, especially knowing that my children may have similar situations in their future. It also reminds me how much siblings of cancer kiddos and special needs kiddos are affected by the cancer and/or special needs.

My eleven year old son, Joshua – has empathy beyond his years.

He has become the “older” brother to 13yo Delaney and worries about the fact she does not have friends her age. That being coupled with the fact she prefers to spend time with the elementary school kids – who don’t tease her – had him quite upset the other day. So upset, in fact, that the boy who does everything possible to get out of homework – especially writing assignments – crafted a letter that was later returned to me with an apology by two of the fathers up the street. Apparently, when Laney became upset because of a perceived unfairness in the game that was being played, one of the wives/moms said to her in front of Joshua: “Delaney, you need to go home. You can’t come down here all old and bald and cry. It’s weird.”

“My sister Delaney was diagnosed with cancer in June 2002. That was the darkest time for my family. So dark that my dad left my family. The reason that I’m telling you this is because I’m not trying to be mean but I think something is wrong. On Thursday, she came home crying because Maddi said she wasn’t allowed to play with Delaney. I’m just saying that is messed up. On Friday, she RAN home crying and Delaney NEVER runs.

Both of those days I was weak and couldn’t do what I was thinking – cry and say “Stop it!” But instead, I just stud [sic] there. On Thursday night I cried for about five minutes saying “Why didn’t I stick up for her?” Again, I think something is going on. Delaney is really nice but she has brain damage to her frontal lobe. That makes her emotional but super smart. She just doesn’t have any friends besides the girls down their [sic]. I thought a nurse like Monica would understand.

Respectfully, your neighbor,

Josh P. Diggs

PS I think Delaney won’t be coming down anymore.”

That one, brought me to tears. His insight and empathy were more than I could bear.

But the letter? I’ll keep it until the day I die. The most worrisome thing about Delaney’s illness and late effects is wondering how she will be cared for when I’m no longer here. I don’t think I need to worry, do you?



0 Shared:

Post a Comment

Thank you from Rebekah...

Back to Rebekahs home page...