All of our son’s toys are still in place and waiting patiently. Teddies with shining eyes and smudges of chocolate embedded in their fur. A village of figurines, monsters and animals from every movie and show imaginable. Wooden alphabet blocks and Lego pieces that were the tools of all creation on a given afternoon. Sheets of paper with happy unintelligible scrawls and sweet smelling nubs of crayons. Oscar’s clothes are folded neatly in his drawers as they were this time last year, anticipating their next day out. His plastic cutlery and bowls sit quietly stacked for dinner. At night as the shadows stretch out, his books beside our bed await his grand arrival to regale him with their stories for the hundredth time. And us, we wait.
Today marks a year since our son Oscar was diagnosed with terminal cancer. That sentence makes no sense to us. It sits on the surface, like oil on water. The truth is, his diagnosis is no more real to us now than it was one year ago. It is a bigger truth to you reading this than to us.
(Oscar in hospital with his new Elmo toy he fell madly in love with)
I would give anything not to be writing these words. Oscar keeps grabbing my hand every time I start to type and I’m happy for the distraction. He’s sitting here beside me, watching cartoons and digging out an array of toys. He likes to wrap his small fingers around mine while he plays. It’s a normal Sunday afternoon affair for him and he is blissfully unaware that anything is wrong. That is the only comfort my husband Lar and I have. But while he sits contentedly, my husband Lar is sorting out hospital forms and I’m wondering how to write this because just over a week ago we were told Oscar, our beautiful, talented, clever, unique little 3 1/2 year old has a brain tumour.