Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 38

Dear Cancer...

NEW OUTLOOK

Dear Cancer,
Why did you break my ankle? Yeah, I see you
pointing your finger at other possible sources
for my injury. Perhaps you think the UNO
cards I slipped on as I was rushing into my
son's bedroom are the logical culprit. I hear
your snarky remarks, "maybe if you made
your son clean his room this wouldn't have
happened." I can anticipate your deflection of
liability. But cancer, there is no denying it, this
is all your fault. You see, I was rushing into that
room to comfort a little boy who was struggling. A little boy who was broken.
Yes, UNO cards make for a good story,
one that allows friends and acquaintances
to roll their eyes and tell me to slow down. A
story that is easier to comprehend and brush
off than a story about a little boy whose life
was irreparably changed by cancer. You see,
those UNO cards were his solace the night
before when a simple game in bed gave him
a bit of comfort to go to sleep and relax from
deep anxiety, rooted by the impact of losing
a brother he never met and a father he dearly
misses. Cancer, you took them from our lives,
so. . .you are responsible for breaking me.
My ankle is not the only causality of your
assaults. You have broken so much more since
you made your unwelcome appearance in the
life of my family. You broke my heart when
you attacked my sweet 4-year-old boy. Every
day for nearly seven years as he battled your
onslaught, my heart shattered just a little bit
more. And on the day you took him from us,
I knew the damage you caused could never be
repaired. Yet you persisted with your attack,
breaking my heart yet again as I watched my
husband endure the debilitating side-effects
of his own battle when he was a young college

Cancer you may have broken bones, hearts, spirits,
and normalcy; but, for me and my family, we will
continue build our lives and move forward.
co-ed. And again, when you took him from
me, you crushed my spirit.
You have broken my little family's sense of
normalcy, and every day we work to claw our
way out of the devastation you left in your
wake. You are responsible for crushing my
daughter. Daily, she mourns the loss of her
twin brother, the boy that will always be her
best friend. All she really wants is to celebrate
milestones with him as her dad cheers them
on. You fractured the life of my younger son
as he clings to the memories of a dad with
whom he wants to play UNO and struggles
to understand the loss of a brother who died
before he was born. Every step our family
takes from this point forward reminds us that
these moments were supposed to be celebrated as a family of five, not a family of three.
No matter how hard we try to put you in
the past, with hopes of never saying your
name again, you are still here cancer. We
don't want to give you the power to break
us, but on days when one misplaced step on
an UNO card creates a ripple of pain, we are
reminded that every part of our lives is a longterm side-effect of your invasive tenacity.
The interesting thing about broken bones
is that as the injury heals, the site of the
damage is flooded with calcium that fortifies
it. It adds strength to the bone and aids in

the rebuilding process. This is a beautiful
picture of the fortification that families who
endure your debilitating impacts often feel
. . . this is something you cannot take away,
cancer. You cannot confiscate the influence
of people who have stood next to me in the
darkest hours, holding me up, bolstering me,
giving me strength. You cannot destroy the
goodness of people who give to philanthropic
efforts to stabilize the brokenness of others.
You cannot crush the desire to give hope to
other families.
Although I will never "move on" from the
wounds you have created in my life, you cannot take away my ability to "move forward."
You cannot crush my memories of a beautiful
little boy and an amazing man who will forever reside in my broken heart. Cancer, you
cannot stop me from holding these things
close while I pick-up my shattered spirit and
move forward.
Cancer, you will never be able to rob me of
the pride I feel when I see the strong, smart,
compassionate, and brilliantly beautiful young
woman my daughter has become in spite of
how you wounded her when you took away
her twin and her father. You will never rob
my young son of his clever mind, infectious
humor, inquisitive nature, and tender heart,
even though you stole his daddy and leave
him haunted with questions about his brother.
Cancer you may have broken bones, hearts,
spirits, and normalcy; but, for me and my
family, we will continue build our lives and
move forward. Hear me loud and clear, cancer, for all the brokenness you have caused,
you will never take away my fervent will to
break you to the point you cannot be rebuilt.
And when the final card
is dealt, the fortification
of humanity and hope
will be the only winners.
Broken but not
Defeated,
SARAH BARTOSZ

38

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
DECEMBER 2019


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Elephants And Tea - December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - December 2019

Contents
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 1
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 3
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 4
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 5
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 6
Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - 7
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Elephants And Tea - December 2019 - Cover3
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