Hush little baby, don’t say a word. Momma’s gonna buy you a mocking bird.

If that mocking bird don’t sing, Momm’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.

 

October 1st, another month without Madox. These days seem to drag but fly by… if that makes any sense. For those that still don’t know, September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. We tried to bring awareness to everyone and anyone, including having our 5K run/walk in September. We kept busy with planning and organizing the event. Marco and I wanted to make it fun for the kids, and the smiles proved we did a good job. Yet it was bittersweet to watch so many smiling families, brothers and sisters side by side. Valin was alone, his only brother not with him. The bad part of being the organizers of a run is that we couldn’t join Valin at the start line. He understood, as he always does, but it still tore our hearts to watch him run off without us…without Madox. I know it’s something we have to get use to, since this is our new lives now, but it hasn’t happened yet. Marco and I are so proud of Valin, for running solo knowing it is to honour his brother. He must be so tired of listening to ‘cancer’ talk, or the charity, or fundraising etc… but he never says it. He asks what we are working on, offers his help or sits close by while we work. Valin is a pretty amazing young man, and we are lucky parents to call him our son.

 

If that diamond ring turns brass, Daddy’s gonna buy you a looking glass.

If that looking glass gets broke, Daddy’s gonna buy you a billy goat.

 

Now that the run is over, I am left with nothing to do, nothing to organize. I think I welcomed the busy schedule as it kept my mind focused on the task at hand. Since then, I have broken down many times throughout the day. All the memories, happy and sad, come flooding back. I was standing over a client at work the other day, doing a typical mundane task. In the background I can hear the television that all eyes were peeled to. I usually try to turn the channel to a music station but someone always manages to find the remote. Clearly I need to hide it better. Someone turned to the news, something I try to avoid as it is never happy. The topic was about a couple who caged up their child for 2 years, in his filth. I felt my body go rigid as everyone in the room began making angry comments about the couple. I instantly became sick to my stomach, truly feeling I needed to vomit. I felt the tears well up, no matter how hard I tried to fight it. I kept my head down and quickly finished what I was doing and dashed out to my van. My car seems to be my safe room, away from stares, away from judgement. I sat in the back on the floor so I could cry and scream in anger. WHO THE HELL are these people having children who don’t deserve to? A child who didn’t ask to be brought into this world by sick individuals who don’t care for their well-being? A healthy child they made sick from their ill treatment?? I would give anything to have my baby back and healthy, while people are throwing a life away. I can’t understand it, I never will. I sat in my car for a long time. Thankfully my coworkers are pretty understanding and don’t question when I disappear.

 

If that billy goat don’t pull, Momma’s gonna buy you a cart and bull

If that cart and bull turns over, Momma’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover.

 

Some nights are better than others. I can go to bed, play on my phone and fall asleep by midnight (rarely earlier). It has become a habit that Marco and I rely on playing on our phones before bed until we are completely exhausted. If we just try to go to sleep, we sit awake thinking and thinking. Then we end up not falling asleep until 2-3am which is worse. So we now play on our phones until we fall asleep, literally. We know it’s a terrible habit but it seems to be our escape from thinking before bed. I just signed up to a meditation class, I am hoping that will help.

 

For Valin, it’s a little tougher. He still feels sad and anxious at bedtime. He and Madox use to talk while in their own beds, calling out to each other. Sometimes visiting each other when they should be sleeping. I know Valin misses those moments, misses his brother’s voice, misses being able to share thoughts, stories and complaints with him. Valin still needs us to be close by when it’s time for bed, so we still go to our room with our light on and door open so Valin feels secure enough to fall asleep. As long as Valin can see our room’s light or us in bed, he can relax enough to sleep. It really changes week by week for him, for all of us really. This past week has been tough on him though. When he is really missing Madox, he asks to sleep in our bed. Marco and I usually take turns staying in our bed with Valin, while the other sleeps in Valin’s bed. He sleeps most soundly when we are with him. We will never say no when he asks. I’m sure this is very common among children who have lost a sibling. Children grieve just as hard as adults. All we can do is support them as much as we can.

 

Last night I fell onto Madox’s bed, hugging all the stuffies sitting there. I sang the version of Hush Little Baby we have always sang to Madox and Valin, I haven’t sung in a long time. Madox use to love when we sang to him before bed. I hate myself for trying to change the routine before he was diagnosed. I was getting lazy and tired of singing the same songs, so I told him he is getting old enough not to get bedtime songs. Valin had actually said he didn’t care to have a bedtime song, but Madox really enjoyed them. I would sing to Madox probably 2-3 times a week for bedtime, but not daily like I use to. Thankfully Marco kept singing to Madox daily, something I will always feel guilty about. I hate that my own fatigue and laziness ruined something Madox loved and cherished. Another thing I clearly took for granted. As I sang in Madox’s bed last night, I yearned to be kneeling by his side, caressing his hair like old times. His eyes would be closed, but a big smile across his face. He loved every bit of being part of our family, being part of this life. My guilt and regret will never change things now, but I am thankful we have so many happy times and memories with him.

 

If that dog named Rover don’t bark, Daddy’s gonna buy you a horse and cart.

If that horse and cart falls down, you’ll still be the sweetest little Madox in town.