Perfect timing

I watched you, long and lean, waiting for the waves. You've been my little water baby since your first trip to South Carolina when you were five months old and I took you to the beach in the hot July sunset and you stripped off your diaper and went in head first.

You've got the timing down now, and you're a pro at body surfing. So much so your father and I hold our breath every time you catch one, waiting for you to swirl up from the surf and breath air again. It's hard to let go of your long little fingers since you're only 5 years old. Your swim teacher says you're the best swimmer she's ever taught, but the ocean is a fierce competitor.

It was on one of those sun-drenched ocean days that I noticed the lump on your neck was so much bigger. Your papa took your tiny neck in his big brown hands and squeezed it, too, and our eyes met over your tawny lioness head and we shared a drink of fear together. But we were far from home, and we had to wait some more. You are a fierce little girl, stronger than most we know, tenacious and lion-hearted and brave, but cancer is a fierce competitor.

Even once the doctors felt your neck, the waiting continues. We won't know until sometime next week if we're looking at cancer or infection. We won't know if you need surgery, or chemo, or nothing. We pray over you at night, cuddling you between us like we did when you were a baby, the hours too precious to send you off to your own bed. Our eyes meet again over your little lioness head while you sleep, and it is a drink of peace and fear all mixed together like a dry wine, bitter and savory all at once. For we are savoring these moments. You learn that, when cancer has come to call in your life before. Waiting is not so bad. There is hope while you wait. Once the waiting is over, and the answer is given, it is like the bang of the judge's gavel and reality descends, hope dissipates, and you are adrift on an ocean with few choices and a whirlwind of activity pummeling just like the endless waves.

Linked with Lisa-Jo for the prompt "Expectation"

Please post this blog button all over the internet and rally prayer for my daughter as we face the uncertainty, grief and fear of the coming weeks.