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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Powerlessness




 When my son was diagnosed with bone cancer about a year and a half ago we entered a world fraught with traps and pitfalls. I walked through a year of chemo and my son withering away with a dream like determination to keep him alive.

  The truth is once western medicine takes over a father is helpless except to clean up the puke and put cold bath cloths on his head. You can joke and be steady but you cannot suffer for them. I have never felt so powerless in my life.

  In order to maintain my sanity, I began to practice meditation, qi qong and tai chi chuan. Chemo ended. He returned to school. I began to fight. Part of me knew that I was doing what I had not been able to do for him.

  I took a Krav Maga class. Often while punching and kicking I would begin to gas so I’d bring childhood cancer to mind. Fury would explode as I lashed out at the helplessness I had felt that year of his torture. I’d see a demon attacking those dear bald children and I would murder it with my fists and knees and elbows.

  Eventually I blew out a shoulder that had been reconstructed years back. I’m back to tai chi and qi qong until I can heal. I know that I’ll go back to fighting though. You see a father who has to watch as his child suffers is like an animal that has been dropped off in a strange land. He does not know how to feed so he does the only thing he can.

  I have always been prone to fight. It has never been like this though. Before it was sport. Now … I seek to destroy something that I cannot touch and can only see with my mind and soul. In the end I am just an animal trying to survive. In the end I am powerless and he still suffers.

  For now there is no more chemo but he is tired and the leg they made for him requires him to use a cane and robs him of dreams. So I’ll continue to fight. I’ll fight till the day I die and maybe then I can be free of this interminable void that grips my heart. Maybe then I’ll be able to feel the true power of God. 

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