The Hard Part

Pat Ford is the mother of Justin Ford, who was diagnosed at age 8 with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. Only nine months after enduring radiation, surgery, and ten months of chemo, he relapsed. Then, after 18 months of more chemo, surgery and radiation, two months off, and another tumor, Justin tiptoed quietly to Heaven on July 10, 2002. During his time of treatment, this poem wrote itself in verses that "echoed time and time again in his mothers head."

There is no cure for this. 
We seek but a comfortable maintenance. 
The hard part has yet to come.

Treatments cruel and mean 
Sickening beyond belief. 
Quality of life is the key. 
The hard part has yet to come.

Young in years 
A child’s face reflected in the mirror 
But held within it lies 
Wisdom of the most aged mind 
Which takes the pain of a very evil kind. 
The hard part has yet to come.

Dark and sunken eyes looking out 
On things we can no longer touch. 
Playgrounds now lie beyond our means 
Compromised immune systems make them but a tease. 
The hard part has yet to come.

Through a mother’s eye we see 
A pain that can not be put to ease 
Hopeless cureless a cruel disease. 
The hard part has yet to come.

Hands reaching out to grasp 
That which can no longer last 
Holding hugging longing to remember 
That which should have been forever. 
Kneeling praying asking begging 
That the hard part never comes.