Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Pablo and Grady's friend Kirby Kersels wrote a poem for Pablo in his summer school class at La Salle High School in Sierra Madre. It's called 'Pablo's Star.' Click on the image above to read it, if you can't make it out. It's powerful. Kirby was a year behind Grady at Pasadena Waldorf School, and has been friends with him since kindergarten. Kirby has known Pablo since he was in utero.
There's one other special thing about Kirby. He's a cancer survivor. Kirby was treated for Lymphoma at City of Hope in Duarte, CA, just east of Pasadena.
Kirby and his parents, Mary Collins and Martin Kersels, know what we've been through. I mean, Kirby knows what Pablo went through. In a very real way. As we sat around our dinner table Saturday night, the conversation flowed wonderfully, and was filled equally with laughter and tears. The conversation was also easy—filled with knowing looks deep into one another's eyes, and things that did not need to be stated. Kirby is an amazing young man. He glows. And at 15, he is over six feet tall, so he kind of hovers above the scene. Glowing and hovering—pretty impressive. It's fitting for what he's been through. There's something about the way he looks at you that, even if you didn't know his story, you'd know he knows something more than he's letting on.
One of the things everyone at the table knew is how slow the clock ticks on the tenth day of a 20 day hospital stay. We all know the temperature of fear. We all know how to put our hands around the steering wheel of the vehicle called My Child's Life and how to push the f***ing gas pedal to the floor and never look back. We all know that there's actually, really, seriously not a support group for parents of kids with cancer in the city of LA.
And Jo Ann and I know that there's actually, really, seriously not a book in the bookstore aisle labeled Grief that chronicles and advises on the process of losing a child to cancer. Losing a child to anything, in any way, is the Thing We All Fear Most. Most of the books we've found and bought center on accidents and other things. That's not our experience. We have been mourning and grieving the potential loss of Pablo since May 18 2008. We have swallowed the salty water in this ocean of pre-grief and pre-mourning, and feeling a bit guilty about it the whole way, feeling a bit selfish about it the whole way. Now that we are here and Pablo is everywhere, we realize we had to do this. Like burping or sneezing, it was an involuntary bodily function. The pressure cooker had to release some of its steam, a bit every day. Or the top would have popped.
We do not feel anything but love for and about Pablo. The feelings I'm describing are our feelings about ourselves, internally, now that the physical being of our son is gone.
That's all I got for today.
at 2:13:00 PM