How can one so small bear so much?
If you’re a parent, you’ll relate immediately, for any of us would give up everything we own, everything we are, to swap places with our sick or injured children.
But that isn’t possible.
And when I see stories like this one, I realize that almost everyone is bearing a burden, almost everyone has a grief not that far from the surface.
Our son is diabetic, and was diagnosed at 22 months. Type 1 diabetes, also genetic, is a “manageable disease,” meaning that with daily injections of insulin, dietary restrictions and regimens, and lots and lots of blood testing, Type 1 diabetics can live a fairly “normal” life.
He’s 24 now, with a BA in Philosophy from USC, in great physical shape, living in LA, and managing his disease well.
But watching Josh’s father and mother, seeing that emotion so close to welling over, reminded me of the time Shannon took our son to a store on his first “Treat Day.” His endocrinologist had recently decreed that 3 times a year, a year, our son could have a day where he pretended he was like other kids, and could eat anything he wanted.
So, on this first “Treat Day” he was going to have an entire candy bar for the first time in his life.
My wife and son were in that store a long time.
And when they emerged, she told me that he went slowly down the candy aisle, asking about each variety, having never tasted any of them. He couldn’t make his mind up between a Payday, a 3 Musketeers, and a Kit-Kat.
One candy bar.
He was so excited to eat a candy bar.
It still brings tears to my eyes.
I do not mean to equate my son’s life to this little boy’s. What we dealt with was so much less than what Josh and his parents face.
But I’ve learned over the long years that almost every parent carries an aching heart. If you’re a parent, you know what I mean. If you’re not, know with certainty that your parents have worried about you, have hurt when you are hurting, have asked for your burden to be theirs.
I imagine they do it until the day they die.
More than 20 years ago, our son’s doctors assured us a cure for Type 1 diabetes would be found “within 10 years.” We’re still waiting.
It doesn’t sound like Josh has that much time. So maybe by spreading his story, someone’s heart will be touched, some miracle can happen…
We have to try. You can learn more about Josh’s disease, and how to help fund research to find a cure HERE.
And we can pray for Josh and his parents, pray that their pain — his physical pain, their emotional pain — is somehow lessened; that the God in whom we believe can somehow intercede, and show mercy.
Suffer the little children to come unto me…especially this little one.