Life just #$!@ing sucks sometimes

It’s been one of those weeks when I need to remind myself that most kids are perfectly healthy and never need to visit the hospital except for the odd fever, gash or broken limb. Sometimes it just feels as if everyone we know has a sick child. And the past few days the news has been terrible. Regular Global BC viewers may recall the story of Lindsey Lourenco, a beautiful and courageous young woman who has been battling cancer for a third of her 18 years. Her twin sister Sadie and parents Tony and Darlene are amazing and warm, a truly wonderful family. I really felt a connection with them – there’s a bond that you can only form with those who have also been on a tough medical journey. When we went to visit the Lourencos at their home at Christmas for that story, Lindsey was in remission after beating cancer for the fourth time.

Well, that damn cancer has come back…for a fifth time. Now Lindsey is at Canuck Place, struggling for every breath.

Reading her mother’s updates has been heart breaking. And it also reminds me yet again just how precious and fleeting life can be. We all know death is inevitable, but unless you have confronted death with your child, it still seems so far removed from everyday life. And I bet parents of healthy kids rarely consider the possibility of outliving them. But as we know, and as all those other families with sick kids know, we are just walking a fine line hoping not to slip. There is a very real chance we could outlive our next generation. I’m sure some of you think that sounds awfully morbid. Rest assured, it’s not like I am moping around the house everyday, depressed and maudlin. Addison brings so much laughter and joy into our lives. We giggle and laugh, do silly things together and enjoy lots of hugs and cuddles. But it’s always tucked away at the back of my mind. Always.

Addison March 2013 03 12-56-16

I was talking to my sister a few weeks ago, telling her how it gives me such great perspective to have met so many BC Children’s Hospital families through work and through Addison because I often felt thankful “all” we had to deal with was a heart transplant. I made some joke about how parents of healthy kids would be horrified to hear such a thing, but then she said, “Some people would say you are very lucky.” And you know what? She is right. I am so grateful for every day I get to see Addison’s beautiful, cheeky smile. Though I have thought about it way more than any parent should, I can’t imagine not having her here, so full of life.

So I am sharing some of Darlene Lourenco’s words with you below. I ask you to please send the Lourencos all your love, positive energy and prayers. They need our collective comfort and strength to help them get through this.

And spend a few extra moments with your children tonight. Hold them tight. Cherish every day. Keep dancing.

Love,

Elaine, Aaron and Addison

Lindsey

Lindsey

Lindsey has been in a coma for several days now, maybe 4 or 5. I’ve actually lost track of the days and the nights and I’ve shed enough tears that sometimes… I’m actually empty. I wake up with swollen eyes. We pray, we beg, we cry and we cover her with hundreds of kisses and hold onto her hand until our own hands have fallen asleep.

I whisper in her ear, tell her how much love her and how proud she has made me. I beg her forgiveness for all that I could not be, could not deliver, could not fix; for every time she was scared or sad or hurting and my butterfly kisses just didn’t work anymore. I tell her she doesn’t have to fight anymore, that she has done more than anyone could, that she will not disappoint anyone, that she has more than earned her wings and paradise is her reward.

But still she fights. They say she will not wake up, that her eyes will never open and her fingers will not curl around mine. But still she breathes….little, frightening, uneven breaths. Her transplanted immune system is actually showing physical signs of trying to destroy the leukaemia, though too little, too late.

But still her heart beats, races. I imagine she must be dancing. In her dreams, she must be climbing trees, rolling around with her sister, chasing the dog, playing Twister, in a passionate embrace, hiking up a mountain trail…. but mostly… she’s dancing. Keep dreaming, my love ♥

– Darlene, Lindsey’s mom, March 12

15 thoughts on “Life just #$!@ing sucks sometimes

  1. Sitting her bawling my eyes out reading this tragic yet beautiful love story…. my prayers and thoughts are with Lindsey’s family at this time …. she is indeed dancing with angels…. they will keep her safe until her family is reunited with her one day… and yes cancer SUCKS….

    ❤ and hugs to the Lourenco family….

  2. To Darlene and family,

    My thoughts are with you, Lindsey and the rest of your family. I hope that with all the love and support for her, Lindsey will take all that power to strengthen herself to fight this fight. She’s a beautiful girl and so well loved by everyone. I will give my kids extra big hugs and kisses in the morning, tell them I love them, like the way you do for Lindsey. Please stay strong.

  3. Darlene Family & Lindsey
    Sitting here trying to find the right words to say and knowing that not very long ago i was in the same spot with my mom, Never easy watching a love one go through this terrible disease let alone 5 times. Lindsey you are so Brave and Amazing and the fight you are showing is a inspiration to many who are fighting this battle. Your parents and siblings are amazing also. the love and support they have shown. Our thoughts and Prayers are with you all.
    Michauds

  4. Elaine – thanks for sharing Lindsey’s story… one cannot imagine what they have all been going through…It’s inspiring to hear how strong Lindsey is and how she has been fighting for her life for the last three years. Like you said, so many of us take every day for granted…
    I do cherish everyday I have with Luca…..every hug, every kiss, every laugh……and remind myself how lucky I/we are.

    Thoughts and prayers go out to the Lourenco family, especially, Lindsey – for their inspiring strength and family unity.

    Auntie Son-Son

  5. Elaine you and Lindsey’s mom have put so eloquently what is so hard to put into words. We have so many blessings in the pain – and indeed we as mothers are blessed to have such special children!

  6. Darlene, you are superwoman! 5 times in one life time is beyond too much. May you all find peace and joy in the future and can once again live, love and laugh.

  7. Truly heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing, to remind us of how grateful we all should be for our children, no matter how long we are lucky enough to have them in our lives.

  8. Thank you for sharing – a lovely young lady with a smile that doesn’t quit, even tho she is fighting for her life again. 5 times is 5 times too many to battle cancer.. .. I don’t have the words to express my feelings for Lindsey and her family

  9. Always in the back of the mind. how true Elaine – but that’s where we have to put it because if we put the thought of us outliving our child in the front of our minds we would not be able to function. Yesterday was another lucky day with Morgan – he turned 27.. hard to believe, they didn’t know when he was born if he would ever make it out of Childrens. My thoughts and prayers are with Lindsey’s family, a wonderful tribute to her that you have kept people in touch with her and their story. what a truly wonderful and loving family she has. Her mothers song was so beautiful.
    Lou Tapp

  10. Elaine, thanks for sharing. Heartbreaking!…Not the way it’s supposed to be.
    Thanks for the reminder to life a daily thankful life. I am one of those parents with healthy kids and rarely stop to think about what a great gift that is.
    Lovely 23 months pics of Addison! Her smile is infectuous! My prayer is that she may bring you many days, months and years of joy!
    Liz in Langley

  11. Darlene and Tony and Family
    My heart goes out to you and your family. I only had the pleasure in meeting Lindsay once. What a wonderful young lady she was. Please know that she will be greatly missed.

    Daniela & Maria Loschi

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