A functional family--harmony and love even with childhood cancer. Amazing!


Well-Known Member
While we who are here can only imagine the chaos, fighting, withdrawal or fight-for-control if the absolutely worst thing happened and one of our own children or grands had been diagnosed with something as evil as neuroblastoma...I bring you a family I know who has to deal with this monster and are surviving because of their love for one another, without drama, without withdrawal, without fighting. I am devestated to learn of this sweet little two year olds shocking diagnosis, yet this forum is for FOO issues so I will focus on that. This poor baby is stage IV and very sick. Picture our families in that sort of pain.

While there is incredible sadness, fear and devestation within this family, I am awestruck by how well they are handling this, it certainly has to be a comfort to both the parents and the child.

31 year old son who is kind of involved in rock music with famous people cut his plans short and flew home with his girlfriend to take care of the babies (there are two of them) and give his sister and her husband a rest. Husband, needing all the money he can get, still needs to work so now Uncle is here to support his sister and be a great father figure to his nephews. Right now, because before this happened the parents were redecorating their home, they are all living with grandma and granddpa who are helping in every way possible. I know the grandma well. She is strong, capable, calming and loving, just perfect for such a sad situation. She is with her daughter and son-in-law 100%. Grandpa does his best too. They have a specal needs son who is 39 with Aspergers and his wife. The son is a minister and has been fantastic with visiting often with his wife and taking his turn with the boys and trying to console his sister and her husband. He is different, but very kind and smart and quite a valuable member of the household. Now this family sort of informally adopted a young man, as a child, whose mother could not take care of him and he considers himself part of the family. He has a few FB pages about this sweet little angel, trying to fundraise a nd also to give the entire updates on his progress so that nobody is left without the latest information. It takes up a lot of his time.

All I could think about, other than my grief at t he illness of such a dear child, is how this family just pulled together. Even under the severe pressure, they are all working as a team without fighting and not one close family member is causing dama or not available to pitch in.

I tried to think of how my own family would have behaved and got the chills. They could barely handle my son's Crohn's Disease. Nobody helped my mother with him, including my father. When he finally got so sick he had blood posining and his life was at risk, she drove along in the ambulance with him. No grandma. No grandpa. No Uncle Vain. No me. Sister still thinking he was ugly. I don't know if she had concern or not. Father went to work, ignoring t he possibly tragedy of t he death of his son. Aunts, Uncles, cousins...what was t hat? We had some,b ut they were distant so they were not involved.

This is the difference between the unconditional love and support a functional family gives it's members and the lack of support and even pulling away or apathy, even in crisis, that those with dysfunctional families face.

Remember, my mother, later on, would not even babysit for my infant son for a few hours while I was bleeding internally with a fever of 104 so I could go to the emergency room. This is the incident my mother-in-laww never forgot.

How different to be a member of a strong family. Security is there.This has o make the family members feel much safer than we did, knowing nobody would EVER come to help us, even if the bottom fell out of our lives.Such as cancer.

My prayers are being sent to this wonderful, sweet, adorable little two year old and his amazing family. I have known this grandmother since she was pregnant with her now 30ish son and we are very close, sort oflike soulmates. She came from a very dysfunctional family, but managed to be the head of a very loving, functional family that will drop everything to give family support.

I wish this tiny child a long life and am grieving with all of them. But, as s he told me in a text, she counts her blessings...her family that has pulled together for this little boy.

Families like t his are fantasy land to me, but I guess they do exist.

But we are almost in awe of the simple act of a family being there for one another with no conditions attached.

Feeling sad for my friend's grandbaby this morning. So happy s he has amazing support.