Sunday, July 08, 2007

Little Nathan

We are praying for this boy: my dh and I, my fellow Tenters, and the many people whose lives Nathan has touched personally. Unlike many of our Junebugs, who we've visited or have visited us, Nathan probably has no idea who I am. He's been sick most of his life with neuroblastoma. The doctors caught it late as far as the disease goes, when he was a toddler, and the resulting prognosis was 7 years. I remember vividly digging through the internet like a madwoman, trying to find anything to the contrary. I remember passionate conversations with Angie, Leti, Dawn and Kim about how certainly by the time 6 years was up, the researchers would have found something. He'd make it! Surely that was such a long time that the medicine would catch up!

As parents, we now know how fast that time goes past.

Most of us under the tent have children born within days and weeks of Nathan. He turned 7 years old in June. Every birthday he had, we'd celebrate silently as if it was our own child given that extra year. In a way, I suppose, it was. Every lost tooth of Nathan's held a different meaning than our children's. He didn't find it exciting when chemo ruined his smile. Every picture, with new hearing aids, or fresh surgical tape pointed out to us how different his life path would become. It somehow started to seem unfair that we had healthy children. We celebrated life itself when Nathan achieved NED status, and cried in devastation when his disease returned after almost 2 years. Most of us refused to turn away, despite the pain. We kept following their lives, their story, feeling as if we could provide some invisible army, some huge community that would make Nathan's life even bigger than it ever would be on its own.

None of us who know Susan take our children's lives for granted. I have never written about him before because I have always felt it was not my place, not my story. But now, his family has been given the news that "
Nathan has days to weeks left, rather than weeks." They have called in hospice and the boy takes more morphine than an adult could normally handle. So I am posting because I believe in the power of positive intention, prayer, pulsing, whatever you personally call the communication your soul has with other energies. I don't ask for him to be saved, because it is too late for that. But I am praying for his parents and their ravaged hearts. I am praying for his two little sisters, who will know a loss they can't understand. I am praying for little Nathan, who is soon to leave the only life he has ever known. Nathan, who lies about needing pain meds so he can be awake longer with his family. Nathan, who said just yesterday that he'd rather do yard work his mom than sleep on the couch-- and did it.

I am praying for Grace, for everyone involved. I hope you will send some of your energy as well.


  1. ~L~
    I have always kept nathan in my thoughts and prayers. The Gentry family has touched my heart. Their story may not have been yours to share but you shared what you feel and had to say so very eloquently.
    I pray for their family throughout the day.

  2. I look at his website daily praying for better news and was devastated when I saw that Hospice had been called in the very day my mom's hospice had been called in. Now I pray that his pain is taken away and his family can heal from the pain of lossing such a beautiful soul.

    Very well put!