This is the last excerpt from my book that I will be sharing on the blog. Thank you for allowing me to share my family's story these past few weeks, I hope that it has been an encouragement to you!
When my wife was seven months pregnant and still in chemotherapy, we went to an amusement park called Dutch Wonderland, so named for its proximity to Pennsylvania Dutch country. I tried to have a good time while there, but found it impossible to ignore the stares of every person we passed by, their eyes inexorably drawn to this heavily pregnant woman with a shaved head who walked by my side. They stared so long and shamelessly I swear I could almost hear their thoughts: Why did this pregnant woman shave her head?
One woman stared so long that I hissed to her, “IT’S CANCER.” Her eyes went wide with shock, and she scurried past us. It is hard to put into words just how satisfying that moment was for me. But honestly, who can blame her for being unable to look away from this jarring juxtaposition of cursedness and blessing, of health, and sickness. Of life, and of death.
But these are not the only memories I have of this time. I also remember the dancing.
When Carol was receiving chemo, Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” was at the very height of its popularity. Sophia demanded we hold nightly dance parties that featured just that one song, played on infinite repeat. And so we did. Even at four, Sophia was a graceful dancer who could imitate the moves from the “Single Ladies” video with uncanny precision, especially the syncopated downward fist pumping/knee raises. Katie had no interest in dance moves—she wanted only to jump. She would clamber up on the sofa, and ...1