- Published: Saturday, July 12, 2014 06:55 AM
- Written by Katie Tyson
“…And God bless leukemia.”
This final supplication offered by Callen, seemingly as an afterthought, caught me totally off guard. It came at the end of a long litany that was otherwise adorable, predictable and reflective of the day’s events: prayers for relatives, friends, pets, babysitters, superheroes, “the whole world, the whole universe, everyone who is a human”, mommy’s hair (which he wanted to bless because “it seemed dry”) and Santa Claus.
It was late in the evening, Callen’s bedtime routine having required more time and encouragement than usual. His lips were cracked and bleeding, his gums raw and blistered from the newest chemotherapy and its newest side effects. He cried at the sight and sensation of bloody drool oozing from his mouth. He asked for Band-Aids for his teeth: I offered kisses, mouth rinse and lip balm instead.
I hardly saw these final moments of his day as a prelude to “God bless leukemia”.
Had we not just lived through the same fifteen minutes? Or the same last week, for that matter?