Everything we do in life changes us--either for the good or the bad. This post is hard to write, even though it's something I've been thinking about writing for a while.
Emma's cancer journey has changed her. It stole her innocence and left her fearful of everything. When she and Ashlyn play outside, Ashlyn runs into the trees, laughing and chasing butterflies. Emma stands back, near the porch, watching Ashlyn have fun. While Ashlyn tries the monkey bars, Emma does the safe thing and only sits on the swing. While Ashlyn proudly tries to ride a bike, Emma sticks to her 3-wheeled scooter because it doesn't wobble.
Have you ever seen a parent place a child on a counter top and instruct the child to "jump to daddy"? Most kids will leap without abandon. Not Emma. I don't think we could even bribe her into jumping. Not only is she fearful of everything, she is un-trusting of us as her parents. You see, we've had to put her through so many terrible experiences that she doesn't believe yet that we don't have something up our sleeves.
It is my hope and prayer that someday soon she will move past this, because while most kids are busy playing in their blissful innocence, Emma has none of that in her. It was lost long ago.
I didn't write this to sadden anyone, or to make people feel sorry for Emma. Instead, I wrote it to make you stop and think--what have you been through, and how have you allowed it to change you?