The NY Giants kick off against the Dallas Cowboys tonight, their coach Tom Coughlin could wear a gold ribbon on his chest.
In case you missed it, the small, but mighty childhood cancer community is unstinting in its determination to get the nation's attention and focus it on children and teens with cancer. More walks, more lemonade, more cookies, more kickball, more shaved heads, more garage sales, more beaded lanyards.
That doesn't obligate me to write about childhood cancer, but with Davis heading to surgery in the morning, my mind is on him, and on Erin tonight.
This blurry (artsy?) photo is my phone screensaver. I look at it every day. Raising strong-willed, bright kids nine years apart in age was never going to be a picnic, and having one with cancer added a degree of difficulty that I hadn't anticipated.
I have often heard or read notes from moms and dads whose child died about how respond to when someone asks them how many children they have. Most people work out their own personal answer. What I hadn't reckoned on was what Davis encounters on a parallel, but completely different track.
As a single guy he has had his share of first dates. You remember those? The jitters. What to wear? Where to go? What to talk about? What NOT to talk about?
Anybody who reads magazine pieces or blog entries about "safe" first date conversational topics, places to go, or other ways to quell the nerves, will recognize that asking your new acquaintance about their major is sort of de rigeur. That is, unless your major is theoretical mathematics. That's a certain conversation stopper which leaves the new acquaintance searching for safer, more settled territory, like "Do you have any brother or sisters?" Asking about siblings is considered VERY SAFE.
Except when your sister who you loved very much died of cancer. No matter how you answer, it's likely to de-rail the date. You either tell the truth and wait for the awkward silence to quit roaring in your ears or you dodge the question and feel like you've betrayed your sister's memory. Even if you explain the circumstances and the new acquaintance responds sympathetically, it changes the dynamics and the trajectory of the first date, which is already a very risk-filled proposition.
So my wish today in memory of Erin and in honor of childhood cancer awareness month is saving all the children so that their brothers and sisters don't have to figure out what it means to live without them.