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Well, here's my story, it all started two years ago. I was twenty-nine at the time and James was six. James, my son was sick with leukemia and was recovering at St.Judes children's hospital. Everything was running smooth and he was starting to recover, when it all went downhill in the blink of an eye. James and I were reading a book, when he told me he was sleepy. Telling you he was sleepy was a new thing he started doing ever since he'd been admitted into the hospital. With all the medication he's on and the treatments he gets daily, it tires him out early in the day. So I told him he could take a small nap and when he woke up I would be there again to play and read to him. He dozed off and I kissed him on the head. Two nurses quietly stepped in the room to check on James. I knew he was always being monitored and checked up on, so I went to the cafeteria to get a drink. I didn't get far, when my phone began buzzing loudly. I was being paged by Jame's doctor just up stairs. My blood ran cold and I ran to the elevator as quickly as I could. I reached the second story and ran to his room. The door was closed. I began turning the knob, but I found that the door was reluctant to open.
Moments later I found out that James had a stroke. Dr. Jean explained that the stroke was very unexpected and that most patients don't undergo a stroke during treatments of leukemia. James was stabilized, but his white blood cell count was beginning to increase again. This put me in a huge predicament. Being a single mother becomes more challenging when your only child is going through so much at such a young age. Wishing I could take the pain for him, reality slipped in and I began to realize that I can't stop this disease that is overtaking my son's body. About an hour later the doctor let me go in and see James. He looked up at me with his big blue eyes and smiled. The radiance of his smile lit up the room. "Mommy, am I getting any better", he asked. I tried to erase that question out of my mind, but I knew I couldn't ignore him. Even at six years old, he needs to know the truth, so I decided to tell him what was really happening. "Well James, it looks like the white blood cells in your body are multiplying, which means they wont go away. But it's not good for so many to be there, so doctor Jean is going to keep treating you". He didn't reply to what I said, he only looked around the room. Then his quite voice began, "mommy, I'm sleepy". I kissed him on the fore head and told him I'd be right by his side when he woke up, and this time I stayed in the room.
Friday was here and Fridays were fun days for all the kids. Volunteers from all over Texas came in and entertained the kids. They started a new thing called "CAP". It stood for come and play. Each kid got assigned a "special friend" who would visit them twice a week. The "friend" would be an adult within the ages of twenty three and fifty. They would spend the day reading and playing with the kids to relieve the parents for that day. I'm a writer, so I mainly do my work out of the house, but now I'm constantly at the hospital and so I bring my work there. I traded my car in for a cheaper car, so my payments wouldn't be so much. Many friends from our church do fund raisers for James, and that helps out a lot. Luckily my job paid pretty good and my boss understood what I was going through. My boss's three year old daughter was diagnosed with Dystonia, which is a neurological movement disorder where sustained muscle contractions cause twisting and repetitive movements. Fridays were good days, but I always found myself worrying about James. I put most of my social life on hold, other than my two girlfriends, and my boss, I never found myself talking much to people. Dating wasn't even an option. It would be such an inconvenience given that James needed all of my attention. I could never let a man take away my attention when my son needed it most.
Evening came, and my nerves began to settle once I was back at the hospital. As always, his radiant smile lit up the room. The only difference today, was that there were toys and books and hot wheels everywhere! James took the lollipop from his mouth and set it on the tray next to him. He began rambling on about how cool his special friend was. He bustled about the thought of next Friday, when little did he know he would see his friend again on Sunday. "mommy, my friend's name is Grant and he is so cool. He talks really funny". I wondered what he meant when he said that he talked funny, it looked like it would remain a mystery until Sunday. I had never seen James build up so much anticipation for something in his life. He was so talkative, that it was almost as if he used all of his voice up. He began falling asleep while he was still talking, he didn't even say that he was sleepy.
Sunday came and James was all ready for his friend to come and visit. "Mommy, mommy, you're going to meet him right?" I glanced at him with a reassuring smile and replied, "yes James, and I can't wait". This made him even more exited, to know that I was interested in meeting his new special friend. We waited and waited until finally a tall handsome man appeared in the doorway. He held famous Amous cookies in one hand and a brand new kite in the other. He looked straight into my eyes and a huge smile appeared on his face. "Hello, I'm not sure we've met. I am Grant, and you?" He asked. Trying not to foolishly chuckle at his accent, I replied. "Hi, I'm Lisa. I've heard so much about you". He looked right at James with a surprised smile and replied, "really"? He didn't give me much time to say anymore before he broke out the cookies and asked James if he was ready to fly his new kite. I sat for a few minutes and observed the way this man and my son got along. I fell into curiosity as to why this man, who lives in Texas, has a charming Australian accent. I now knew why James thought he talked "funny".
It was Friday so soon, like the week had swept by and Grant would be coming anytime now. I surprisingly didn't have any work to do today, so I had planned to just do some Arrons. Sure enough, Grant arrived on time. As he walked quickly down the hall, he began to smile big. His smiled reminded me of James, it lit up the room and I only saw the two of us. He held out his hand as if we had first met, and told me good morning. He went inside Jame's room and came back out shortly after he had gone in. James had fallen asleep. Grant and I found ourselves getting into a deep conversation. He told me all about himself. He said he was single and had no kids and had never been married. I tried not to look shocked. I would have expected him to have had a wife and three kids. He moved from Australia, where he was born and decided to volunteer with St. Judes. He asked me about my story, and I tried to speak, when I realized he was actually looking me in the eyes. I had never had a man look me in the eyes as if he truly cared about the next thing I was going to say. I got passed the dreamy brown eyes starring into mine and began to tell him my story. I told him that when I was twenty-two I had gotten pregnant with James. I added that my now ex boyfriend had left me once he found out that I was pregnant. Grant began telling me how amazing he thought James was. "You raised a fine young man", he said. I was so touched, at this man's words.
A few minutes later we headed back to check on James. He had finally woken up. Grant stayed a while and read to James. On his way out, he walked up to me and shyly asked me to have dinner with him next Thursday. I would have normally declined such an invitation, besides I hardly new this man. But something in my heart said I had to accept. The date was set. James began jumping up and down in his bed when he heard the news. Then came the question I knew my son was going to ask. "mommy do you like Grant"? I normally don't ignore my son's questions, but thankfully Grant showed up right then. We both hugged James and told him we would see him after dinner. We were almost out the door when James opened his mouth. "Grant, wait. Are you going to kiss my mommy"? Shockingly I wasn't surprised at this question. What more can you expect from a six year old boy. Although I was quite embarrassed, I wanted to see what Grant would say. He then replied, "I can't say James, it's a secret". James piped up and then blurted, "yeah, you're going to kiss her. It's okay, I don't mind". I laughed out loud at the fact that my six year old son was giving a man permission to kiss his mother. We then headed out the door.
After dinner, I told Grant what an amazing time I had. I never opened up to people, but with him, I could. I told him how I truly felt and what my heart was wanting. That I would love to start a relationship with him, but that I just couldn't. "I don't understand, if your heart feels that way, how come you can't follow your heart"? I paused at this question. Not wanting it to sound like I was deliberately blaming my son, I explained the situation. "It's just that my son needs me. I can't have anything else taking my attention away. Maybe once he fully recovers and begins to get better". Grant replied, "what if he doesn't get better". I almost took what he said as an insult, but the way he said it wasn't rude at all. He started again, "I mean, just because James is sick, doesn't mean you shouldn't be happy. The way I see it, is James is always happy, smiling and excited and I think his mom should be happy too". We walked out to the car and neither of us said anything the rest of the night. He brought me back to the hospital and we both said goodnight. I thanked him once again. He smiled and slowly drove away. I thought about the things he said as I walked up the steps to the hospital.
The next morning James woke up energized and ready to play. He then remembered our dinner date last night and began giving me the third degree. I told him we had a good time and tried to leave it at just that. But I knew what question was yet to be asked. "Mommy, did he kiss you"? I sat down, as I knew I would be talking for a while. "No baby, we didn't kiss. We are just friends". I looked for his reaction. He looked away and then back at me. "But mommy, I thought you were going to marry Grant". The things James started asking me became more and more suprising. "Marry"? I said. "Yes mommy, I want Grant to be my daddy". I froze. I then explained, "sweet heart, right now mommy just wants to be with you. You're my son and I love you so much". I thought he would be content, but again to my surprise he spoke up. "Why can't you love us both"?
I never thought that talking to my six year old would benefit me in such a way. I learned something that night talking to both James and Grant. It was clear they both loved eachother as it was also clear that Grant was interested in me. The next time I saw Grant I decided to tell him I would go with my heart. He was very happy with my decision. James was very happy. Over time, I realized that James truly was a happier little boy since I had been with Grant. James completly recovered on his eighth birthday. We celebrated his coming home by going to the beach. It had been almost two years since James had been somewhere out of the grounds of St.Judes. At the beach while I was retrieving some drinks from the cooler, James began shouting. "Mommy look, Grant tripped in the sand". I quitely chuckled to myself and started walking his way. When I reached him, he stayed in the sand on one knee and brought from his pocket a small box. "Lisa, I've loved you from the day we met. I love James as if he's my own son. I want to spend forever with both of you. Will you marry me"? His eyes glistened and so did the ring he held out in front of him. I started crying at the same time as saying yes. He jumpped up and hugged me tight in his arms. The waves began crashing loudly and the sand felt warm between my toes. Grant kissed me and then James came running up. He ran so fast into Grant's arms. He swung him up and kissed him too.
We had our happy life all over again. Me James and Grant. Not once did I ever see James un happy. And each day Grant and James would read or play catch or do anything, it was like they were in their own world. They had a bond like no other. Grant led my son to Christ at eight years old. I was very thankful, for I didn't know much about Jesus myself. I was raised knowing nothing about Christ. I also accepted Christ along with my son. six years had gone by, and life was still like a fairytale. Until late one night, James awoke throwing up non stop with a horrible fever. We rushed him to the hospital and they admitted him immediately. We found out that he had the ammonia. The doctors said that as the minutes passed by, his lungs were getting worse and worse. Grant held me as I began to uncontrollably cry. We went into the room and kissed James and told him that we loved him very much. That's all the doctors let us do before we were practically pushed out of the room. It wasn't but 15 minutes later the doctor came and gave us the news that no parent wants to ever hear. "He's gone". I was crushed, and at the same time very thankful that he went to Heaven.
So there is my story, Grant, the Australian angel saved my sons life. He saved his life in two ways. One, He was a friend and a dad to James. And two, he is the reason that my son is forever with Jesus. Grant also saved my life by leading me to Christ. If it weren't for my son's adorable bluntness and his convincing me that my love could be shared between him and Grant, I would have never went further in our relationship. I definintely don't regret my decision. And thanks to James, I can now live happily ever after with my husband Grant, the Australian angel.