I have learned much of resilience recently.
Good ole Webster says that resilience is "the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness."
Who comes to mind when you think of that definition? Think of them for a moment. What is it about them that has made them resilient? Probably extreme difficulties that we cannot imagine ourselves having to go through.
We compare all the time (a topic for another blog). Right now I want to tell you about who I find to be the most resilient.
I have traveled a lot, to so many amazing places and met some of the most kind hearted and wonderful people. To me the most beautiful part of life is the people, how different and unique we all are. I have said it somewhere before - a rainbow is not beautiful because it is all the same color. It is full of different shades, gradients and hues and those differences - being who they are individually - is what makes the rainbow such a delightful sight to see. Just like humanity.
Out of everywhere I have gone and all the people I have met, there are none more resilient than children.
Kids I have met all around the world who have gone through the most difficult scenarios running around with the biggest smiles on their faces.
They just want to be kids. So they make the most of their environment and situations. They often are the ones who carry the adults along the way.
I have endless stories of resilient children I have met in places like the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, Moldova, the Dominican Republic, New Orleans and other various countries/states that I have had the blessing of visiting.
The story I want to share is one close to home.
Hiro is very much so my favorite and most resilient human I have ever met. Seriously, the kid will be projectile/violently vomiting one moment and smiling ear to ear the next. Everything that his little body has been through and the fact that he just wants to laugh and play along the way completely blows my mind. His personality is really shining and he wins over the hearts of everyone who comes in contact with him (definitely has all the nurses and doctors wooed).
He is the essence of resilience to me and when I am struggling with his situation and everything we have going on in life I look into those sweet eyes and suddenly my heart rate regulates and my breath slows. I can see nothing else but him and all that he is. And it is beautiful.
Ok my rant of how much I adore Hiro is over.
The story is about a kid we have met on Hiro's floor in the hospital. Hiro is on the hemoc/oncology floor and it is such a heart wrenching place to be. The nights we have spent hearing the cries of some dear child going through the unimaginable...or the nights of hearing and watching our own sweet child crying as he goes through the unimaginable.
But then we pass a room and get a wave, a "hi!", or a kiss being blown to Hiro and you are heartbreakingly reminded that they just want to be kids living their kid lives. You also see their resilience.
There is this one kid in particular who is around the age of 8. They love Hiro, always making sure they say hello and ask how he is doing and questions about him. We have gotten to know them more and more over our mutual time there. I won't get into their diagnosis and what this sweet kiddo is dealing with, how they have to constantly lose their hair, deal with pain and treatment weekly and how they don't get to do what other 8 year old kids can do. But just know that if you met them outside of the hospital you would not be able to guess everything they are going through.
During Hiro's 6th round of treatment we got to connect with this child again. I had a conversation with them that I wanted to share with you. I will refer to them as M for now.
Heather : (after some previous chat) "how is everything going for you? how long are you here for?"
M : "I don't know, I don't ask a lot of questions about my own situation. I just try to stay positive about everything and make the most of my time here. I try to make the hospital a fun place to be."
They said it with a big smile on their face.
It took everything in me to not tear up as I looked into their eyes.
8 years old and wiser and more optimistic than most. Definitely more than me a lot of the time.
Kids are amazing. Brave. Strong. Heroic. Courageous. Resilient.
They are also curious, imaginative, learners, teachers, givers, creators and sweet precious souls. They are a group of society that I care deeply about (anywhere and everywhere). To know that there are some who are having to go through tough times...they deserve grace to be given, hugs to be offered (and only given with consent btw), love to be a constant in their life and they deserve to be the unique human that they are.
Unfortunately life sucks and there are situations that no one deserves to be in. But we can choose to offer our smiles and kindness regardless. We may not be able to take the situation away from them (like illness) but we can be a solid support for them through anything. Let them feel their feelings, be a safe space, do something with them that they enjoy, extend patience when they are having heavy days and love them unconditionally with no rules. Who they are is beautiful.
Who you are is beautiful too.
I hope that you can see that you also deserve everything I have listed above.
You deserve to love who you are. All that you are and all that you were made to be.
What you are going through might be different but it does not mean that it isn't tough too.
Be kind to others and start by being kind to yourself. You deserve kindness.
Hiro has completed his 6 cycle treatment plan of chemo. His numbers that were on the rise have been dropping too (praise God!). He had a brain MRI that came back looking normal. We have an end of treatment MRI, CT scan and hearing test July 7th to check on his progress. We will be monitoring his bloodwork weekly with a hope that they do not start rising again. (numbers rising would be a sign of the cancer growing somewhere.) It has been so amazing to live a little bit of life and not having to live in the hospital as much. Hiro is starting therapy soon as he is developmentally delayed due to everything. He has started to say "da-da", loves to play under blankets, is learning to sit up on his own and LOVES to "chat" (as loud as he possibly can) with anyone and everyone. His personality is really taking flight and we adore him more and more. Thank you all for the continued love and support! <3
With loving kindness,