Cancer and an Airplane
There were dark days in her young life. Times she remembers, that she'd rather forget. Things she saw, things she heard, things that happened that shouldn't have.....she's worked through them all and only through the power of God has she been able to be victorious. Maybe someday...when the time is right...she'll be able to take you back to that time, but not today.....
At seven years old, she didn't understand what that meant. She only knew that Maw had it in her mouth and it was a very bad thing.
She was playing tea party with her dolls. Mommaw had bought her a table and chairs for her bedroom. The table was round, but otherwise, it looked just like the grown up table in the kitchen, and she loved playing mommy, working in the kitchen and fixing yummy food. While she served pretend tea and cookies to her dolls, she couldn't help but overhear the muffled sound of Mommy and Daddy's voices from their bedroom. Mommy and Daddy hardly ever went in their room to talk, so this really made her tummy feel funny on the inside. She heard Mommy and Daddy talking. She heard Mommy crying and Daddy getting angry. Daddy could get really angry sometimes, but this time he sounded a different angry. He sounded like he was hurt, but angry.
It wasn't long and their door opened. Mommy wasn't crying anymore, but her eyes were really red and her voice sounded funny. Daddy wouldn't look her way. He just went in the living room and turned the tv on.
Mommy sat on the edge of the little girl's bed and patted the spot beside her. She ran to sit by Mommy because she could tell this would be a "big girl" talk and Mommy didn't like her to "lolly gag".
"I don't want you to be scared, but Maw has cancer. Do you know what that is?"
"No...but I bet it's bad."
"It can be bad yes. Daddy's mommy is very sick. She might die if she doesn't get better."
Die?? Maw?? Strong, big Maw who could outwork any man around?? Maw who kept a switch hanging over her front door to whip the daylights out of any kid who wasn't minding her? No...not Maw....not her Maw.
"Can't the Doctor fix her?"
"Maw's doctor can't fix her but he wants her to go see a doctor very far away from her house who maybe can."
Far away from Maw's house!! Where could that be? It took them, like, forever to drive to Maw's house now!!
"Will I ever see Maw again?"
"Well, you and me are going to get on an airplane and fly to a place called Maryland. When we get there, we are going to stay at a place kind of like our apartment and we are going to visit Maw while she's trying to get better. Okay?"
An airplane?? She had to go in the sky to see Maw?? Maryland was that far away??
Even though she told her mommy that she would go, she was very afraid. She'd never been in an airplane before and she didn't like the idea of it now.
Daddy wasn't going to be going with them because he had to work. This made her even more afraid.
Just a few days later Daddy drove them to the airport. This place was huge!! SO many people going every which direction!! She and Mommy gave Daddy a kiss and a hug and he was gone. He disappeared so fast!!
She looked at Mommy and she could tell that Mommy was very afraid. That made her even more scared. She had seen Mommy sad and she had seen Mommy angry, but she couldn't remember if she'd ever seen her scared.
Somebody said something over the speaker, Mommy grabbed her hand and they took off running...and they were running fast!!!
They made it to this lady with a friendly smile who took their ticket and they boarded the plane.
Her little heart was beating so fast. She was sure it was going to pop right out of her chest!!
They found their seat and Mommy let her sit by the window. It was a tiny window, but she could see outside and that was really cool!!
They buckled their seat belts and in just a few minutes, the pilot came on the speaker and told them his name and said something about a great flight.
She turned to look at Mommy and then it moved!! Whipping around to look out her window she saw everything outside start to go by. Faster and faster until she couldn't even make out what anything was!! Her heart had calmed down, but now was beating as fast as the plane was moving!
All of a sudden she felt like someone was pushing her back in her seat and they left the ground. The little girl didn't know whether to cry or to laugh. Not long after, she felt her body returning to normal and the stewardess asked them if they'd like something to drink. "Are you kidding?!", the little girl thought, "I just might throw up if I try to drink something!"
After a while she settled down though and she actually began to enjoy the plane ride. She loved the different colors of the clouds. She saw blue clouds and white ones. Even red and orange clouds. She'd have to remember that when she colored pictures of clouds. She wondered if Scott had ever been in a cloud? Maybe she would ask him...
It wasn't too much longer and the pilot came on the speaker again. He told everybody that they had to buckle their seatbelts and put everything away. As she looked out the window again she could begin to make out the ground below and then the houses and before she knew it..... A hard bump!! She felt like she'd been slammed into the ground!! Mommy grabbed her arm and then she heard something crash!! Oh was she scared!! Mommy was holding her tightly and she could hear Mommy's heart beating! This had to be bad! She knew this airplane thing was a bad idea! But..slowly the plane came to a stop and the stewardess apologized for the plate breaking and scaring everybody.
She was glad she was in Maryland, but she hoped they could figure out another way to get home.
Once they got their bags and went outside, Mommy soon flagged down a taxi and they were off to their room apartment.
Mommy knocked on the door of the apartment and a lady answered the door. She took one look at the little girl and made an awful face.
"You have a child with you?", she asked Mommy.
"Yes. I had no choice but to bring her. She's a very good girl and you won't hear a peep out of her, I promise."
"I'd better not or you'll be finding another place to stay."
Humph. Who did this lady think she was anyway? The little girl knew right away that she was not going to like being in this room apartment.
Once they got in their room and unpacked, Mommy found the address to Maw's doctor. Maw had gotten here a few weeks before and Mommy said they had to operate on Maw. She told the little girl that Maw would look different but it was still Maw under those big bandaids.
Downstairs they went, out the door and began the walk to the hospital. Blocks and blocks and blocks they walked. The little girl tried hard not to whine, but she was getting tired.
"Mommy, why didn't we just call a taxi?"
"Because. We don't have a lot of money and we're going to be here two weeks. Just be a big girl. We're almost there."
A few more blocks found them standing in front of the biggest building she'd ever seen. This place was bigger than her apartment back home. It was even bigger than her school!!!
Even though Mommy told her that Maw was going to look different, she wasn't prepared for what she saw when she entered Maw's room......