6 years ago today I was awaiting some news. I was out stalking clearance racks for a bargain to occupy my mind when a phone call came in. It wasn't the number I was expecting but I answered anyways. The call went something like this:
"Hello, Mrs. Thomas?"
I recognized the voice "This is she. Dr. Kolin?" My heart was in my feet.
"Yeah, hi. I was just calling to ask you who is treating Joshua's sinus infection."
"He has a sinus infection?"
"Oh yeah, both sides poor kid. How's he feeling? Wait, the oncologist didn't call you?"
At this point my stomach joined my feet. "No. I thought this call might be him. He's feeling ok. Can you tell me anything?"
"Oh, Oh sure! Joshua's scans are clear. He's ok. He's in remission."
This part (above) I will forever remember almost verbatim. The rest of the conversation is a blur. I leaned on a wall and had to hold myself from sliding down it as I talked.
Somehow prescriptions were written to take care of the sinus infection and I thanked her (profusely, I'm sure) and hung up. I remember calling Tim and having to leave him a message. I remember calling my mother, still in the store, and both of us crying for joy.
Not even knowing why the heck I was there in the first place, I left the store and had a good cry in my car. Minutes later I started calling everyone I knew and shared the good news. Joshua's battle with Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma Nodular Sclerosis was over. He had won. We all did.
To this day. Today. We celebrate it as his birthday. Lucky boy has 2 of them! In November he will be 17. Today he is 6. Last year we had a big gathering for his 5th birthday. It was the banner year we could say he was "cured". This year will be quieter but no less joyous.
On his birthday in November he gets presents and stuff. Today we celebrate the greatest gift anyone can be given, the gift of a healthy life.
Today I am outraged.
5 years ago today we declared war on Iraq, Saddam Hussein and his regime.
5 years and so many senseless casualties.
5 years of questionable and downright faulty government intelligence.
5 years of looking for WMD that may never have existed.
5 years of oil moguls and contractors getting filthy rich off supplying the war and the ever-escalating cost of fossil fuel.
5 years of a quandry. How do we as a nation express our pride in America and our military, yet mourn thousands of innocents caught in the web of a war for which our nation bares a lion's share of responsibility?
5 years of praying for this war to end, for our leaders to wake up and solve the problems that face US here in OUR nation and to make US their top priority, for change, for a victory that can only come when there is no need for the power of one nation over another.
5 years of praying for peace, for salaam, for shalom.