coming up in our house. We try to not dwell on the negative, but sometimes that is easier said than done.
April 30 marks this sad anniversary, being especially difficult for Jake. That was the date his best friend, David, lost his battle with cancer. He was 7 years old.
Jake first met David when they were babies sitting in their car seats. David's mom (who also happens to be named Linda) and I went to Coffee Break, which was a mom's group held at a local church. As the boys grew, they became good friends.
David was a wonderful little guy, always cheerful and always happy. Even though cancer took many things from him (like his sight and his ability to swallow), it never took his sunny disposition or touched his spirit. Never. Even up to the end, David always had a smile on his face.
It was difficult to explain death and cancer to Jake. Even though Jake had experienced a loss through death (his grandfather) we were able to explain that event to him as a natural event that happens when we get older.
But this was different...David was not old. It had a profound effect on Jake that still goes on to this day. Somehow, Jake has convinced himself it was his fault (simply because he was David's friend) that David got cancer. Many times since then, he's been sure he needs to stop being friends with a current buddy or buddies. On more than one occasion, I've had to stop him from ending a friendship. Why? ..... Because, his reasoning goes, if he stops being their friend then they won't get cancer.
We've had many conversations about this over the past four years and although he hasn't mentioned this in a few months now, I am concerned as this date is again approaching. It always brings up those not-so-good feelings. Jake has been looking at the calendar for several days already and I can see it in his eyes.
It seems like...one step forward and two back.
Here are some pictures of Jake and David, taken at Jake's birthday parties. The first few are at Jake's 5th b/d party and just a few months before David's diagnosis of cancer.
Boys....being boys....they all thought it was funny to make faces for the pictures. I was unable to get a picture of them not making faces. Yes...boys will be boys.
David in on the fun of face making...
One year later at Jake's 6th birthday party. Yes....the boys are still making faces.
When David finished treatment, they had a party for him. This was taken at that party.