And while the rest of the world sees a kind, smart, always-smiling, makes-you-laugh-so-hard-wine-shoots-out-of-your-nose 30-year-old man, I see something else.
I see the baby who smelled like warm buttered toast when he was curled up in my arms those first few months of his life.
I see the toddler who carried his toy bunny, Hoppy, everywhere with him and waited anxiously by the washing machine after an attempt to share chocolate pudding went terribly, terribly wrong.
I see the little one who was so convinced he could fly in his Peter Pan costume that, before I could stop him, he jumped in the air with such trust, such innocence, that for a moment I truly believed he would soar over my head; and we both cried when he didn’t.
I see the preschooler who sang his heart out at his first holiday school program, blissfully unaware that he couldn’t pronounce any of the r’s in “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” or that his Superman undies showed through his white angel costume.
I see the four-year-old who was heartbroken when his older sister said she wouldn’t marry him and then made me promise to help find him a wife.
I see the six-year-old who asked me to hide Hoppy when his friends would come over, then, as soon as the coast was clear, would ask for him back – that much loved little toy bunny who still lives in my closet.
I see the little boy who took over our answering machine with his own message in a voice that was so beloved, every one of us still uses his words as an ending to our voicemail recordings.
I see the idealistic, sensitive but rebellious teenager who, according to my parents, was righteous revenge for my own turbulent teenage years.
I see the young man whose gift of inappropriate humor occasionally leaves others horrified but always has me on the ground laughing so hard, people frequently worry about my health.
I see the college student whose heart was broken and couldn’t yet see that the pain was just going to make meeting his brilliant and beautiful wife so much sweeter.
I see the groom who glowed on his wedding day and teased me because I couldn’t get through my speech without crying.
I see the new father, cradling his own gorgeous little boy, making my grandson laugh till they both succumb to a severe case of the hiccups.
I see my boy in the hospital bed after his surgery, waking up in the middle of the night with a “Hey Mom, thanks for being here,” as if I would be any place else in the world.
I see the child I promised to always keep safe.
My son has brain cancer. Most days, it is easier to imagine that it is happening to someone else, but it isn’t. It is happening to him; it is happening to his wife, to his baby, to his father, to his sister. It is happening to me. And we need help.
“Team Weiss” is doing everything we can possibly think of to please, please make this go away and are asking everyone to join our effort.
National Brain Tumor Society says they will not rest until a cure exists – but they’ve got nothing on a mom watching her always-little-boy fight for his life.
Vona Weiss was the top fundraiser for the recent Northwest Brain Tumor Walk. Her astounding $83,479 fundraising total propelled Team Weiss to a collective $86,000 in dollars raised to support NBTS’ mission and vision to conquer and cure brain tumors.