The Strength of an Egg by Juliet Freitag
Parents of children with cancer, or really any serious condition, are often referred to or viewed as having strength "like a rock". Albeit flattering, it isn't quite true. It is more like the strength of an egg. An egg, you ask? Yes, an egg. If you think about an egg, you will see the point I make. An egg has a polished smooth outer appearance with no cracks or weak spots visible. It seems almost inconceivable that the inside might not be as smooth and solid as the outside. Most children, at some point in their lifetime, are shown the famous egg trick. An egg set at just the right angle can withstand enormous amounts of pressure and cannot be cracked or broken. Yet the same egg, tapped gently at an even slightly different angle will break . The contents, once so neatly concealed inside, will come spilling out, and the no longer perfect shell will be crushed. Then the shell looks so fragile that it seems inconceivable that it ever held any strength.That is where parents of with cancer (or other serious conditions) are more like eggs than rocks. A rock is solid all the way through. If you tried to break a rock, it would be almost impossible. If successful, one would find that there was nothing inside but more rock. It takes a lot more than pure hardness to hold the hand of hope. These parents are not solid all the way through. They hurt, they fear, they cry, they hope. It takes a very careful balancing act to keep the shell from being shattered.Balancing an egg while running a household, going for doctor visits and hospital stays, keeping the family together, and holding on to the constantly unraveling ties of your sanity can be very tricky indeed. Occasionally, the angle will be off and the shell will break, shattering hope and the neatly secured appearances of a truly fragile existence. Unlike Humpty Dumpty though, parents of kids with cancer (or other serious conditions) will pick themselves up and put themselves back together again.