Garrett is finally asleep. He's been pretty keyed up all day, worried about tomorrow. He called me at work today and his tone was different. He started to cry and said "daddy, I need you". Say no more. I cut out of work early and got to him by about suppertime. He ran to me and nearly squeezed the air out of me, and didn't let go for the longest time.
We grabbed our gloves and threw the ball around for a bit and then he just wanted me to hold him. We laid in the hammock for a long time and then he got a call from his beloved teacher who has been so incredible to him this year. Her timing was perfect, as were "auntie Barb" and a few professional bull riders who called to pray with him and offer encouragement. Those calls helped a lot.
We later retired to the basement to watch baseball highlights together, which is what we've always done at times like this. Baseball and rodeo have always been a part of our therapy. After a little while though he finally turned to me, told me he was so scared and started to cry. He held on to me, and I comforted him while he whimpered and said "daddy, I just want to go home". Kathy and I both just held him and tried to love the bad feelings away. We said our night prayers and in the midst of his overwhelming fears his prayers were not for himself, but for his cousin Levi, who is in stage 4 cancer. Levi is like a big brother to Garrett and also very, very sick.
It really pulls at my gut to see him go through this all over again, but these are the cards we're dealt right now. We prayed and talked for a long time about how much he is loved, and how so very many folks are praying for him. Everything is in God's hands, and there is no more perfect place for us to be.
By 10am we'll be checking in. By 1pm he'll be in surgery for the 24th time in his short 10 years. We will claim victory in the name of Jesus our Lord. Everything will be just fine. Our little gladiator is ready for battle.