I have a feeling that this will be a strange post. Bear with me.
After Henry's diagnosis, I had an unshakable feeling that I had been duped. His cancer had been there growing, for some time, and I hadn't known. Of course, no one knew. But I had (have?) a sense that someone knew...the universe perhaps?...while I did not. I have never struggled with the 'why' of his cancer (though that may be yet to come.) To me, his cancer just is, the way an earthquake just is.
Then, the universe turned into a pair of pants. I was at Old Navy, months before his diagnosis. I picked up a pair of powder blue sweats. Ugly, but a bargain. I thought, "Maybe he'll get just a few wears out of these, besides, what a bargain!"
He wore them a lot during his first round of chemo. They were soft, easy to get on and off, and comfy in bed. Still ugly, but who cared.
But I felt like they knew. Like at some strange quantum physics level, those pants already knew all the times he was going to wear them. I could remember picking them up from the bargain bin at Old Navy, fingering them, trying to decide whether to buy them or not. I could only imagine my horror if on that day I could see how they would be used. I didn't know. Did they?
This happened many more times. This new pair of shoes. I put them on for the first time the morning we took him to the hospital for dizziness. Neither I nor they came home for a week. Did they know, back when I ordered them off the internet with my free shipping coupon, that they would be sitting in the PICU while I sobbed? While I was told that there was a great probability that my child would die within a few years? While I held an emesis basin for him to vomit in over and over and over?
It's quieted down now, my conversation with the universe. But every so often, it pipes up again. These new shoes that I buy...will I be wearing them the day that the oncologist tells us his cancer is back? This watch, that I have worn every day since my husband gave it to me when I graduated from medical school, does it know what will happen? Will this sweater that I am knitting him come back to me tattered and torn from his playing in the woods in a year, just as he outgrows it, cancer-free?
If they know, they can't tell me.