Serenity

Serenity.  What does that word mean?  Peace.  Dictionary.com defines it as 1) the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness and 2) a title of honor, respect, orreverence, used in speaking of or to certain members of royalty (usually preceded by his, your, etc.).  The first definition is the kind of serenity I am talking about.

I don’t think anyone, other than babies and small children, achieve pure serenity in their lifetime.  There is too much bad going on in this world to achieve pure serenity, and if we do ignore the bad things, we are accused of being cold, unfeeling, or just plain indifferent.  When we grow up, we lose certain degrees of innocence.  We realize that, oh, the world can hurt us, can hurt me.  We develop defense mechanisms, invisible shields that we throw around us when we are feeling attacked, or even when we expect to be attacked.

I think we all know that there is no serenity in childhood cancer (and cancer as a whole).  Hearing that your child has cancer is the last thing parents want to hear, and yet, 46 parents (pairs, so in reality, it’s 92 people)  find out everyday.  Everyday, thousands of lives are changed by association.  And yet, most people are ignorant of the statistics.  They’re not aware.  How do we make them aware?  By being in their faces about childhood cancer.  We need to refuse to rest or back off until childhood cancer – all forms – gets the same amount of attention and research money as breast cancer does.  You know what’s really heartbreaking?  Some girls do not even live long enough to get breasts!  That is the real tragedy.

There is, however, serenity in knowing there are people out there who want the same thing I do.  People who will not give up.  People who have lost children and are doing what they do in memory of their babies.  So I know I am not alone in this fight.  I wonder who are the other neuroblastoma survivors, the leukemia survivors, the other childhood cancer survivors.  And I wonder where they are.  I want to find them.  We need to band together.  The parents can’t do all the work.  The siblings can’t do all the work.  The survivors can share their story – even if they don’t remember it personally – and help spread awareness.  I can’t be the only one fighting for a change.

Unfortunately, I have to accept that there are children that can’t be saved.  It’s too late.  They should be here, living their lives, but they’re not.  Where is the serenity in that?  There is no serenity in tears.  There’s no acceptance.  Nor should there be.  God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.  I wish I could change it, but I can’t.  Do you know how happy the bereaved parents would be, if we could give them back their children?  Tears of happiness.  One day, that will happen.  Reunions abundant.  Shouts of joy and peals of laughter.  I smile just thinking about it.

Now, THAT is serenity!

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