This piece was originally posted by Kristy Westrom on the CaringBridge page for her son, Liam, who was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in May 2018.
Please, don’t stay little. Please, grow into an amazing young man who is intelligent, caring, and happy. Please, try all the things and make lots of mistakes. Please, continue to grow physically, emotionally and mentally. Please, grow taller than me so I can look up into your beautiful face. Please, don’t stay little.
We try to enjoy the good moments, but we also try harder to move beyond the really bad moments. I don’t want to freeze time. I want to get to a time where we can go on family trips again. I want you to consistently go to school so you can continue to build friendships. I want you to be invited to all the birthday parties. I want to unpack the hospital bag. I want to budget for college, not medical bills. We’re learning to live in the present, but we would never want to stay here.
Time, please keep going. Don’t ever slow down. Keep going to tomorrow, next month, next year. Please keep going to the milestones. Bring us the moments, the memories, the mistakes, the love. Keep going and never ever stop.
Did you know that when a child passes away, it is common to say “forever ___ years old”? I hate that so many other families have to face that phrase. Every single day I fear that something could complicate our tomorrow… a cold, the chemo, an infection, the cancer. As we’ve already discovered many times, things can change in an instant.
Time, slow down.
These are all things I used to say. And now, they are all things I will never say.
Written by Kristy Westrom
Kristy is a former teacher and mom to two children, Liam and Isla. Liam was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in May 2018. Kristy and her husband, Stan, live in Chaska, Minnesota. They look forward to intense treatments slowing down for Liam so they can resume family activities, like going up to the cabin. Read more about Liam’s story here.