Learning to Mow the Lawn

Steve McKinionUncategorized9 Comments

When I mow the lawn I have some time to think. With a cancer kid, free time to think is often a curse. As I circled my yard it struck me like a ton of bricks:

“My son has cancer!”


That’s life for the parent of a cancer kid, though. Life is regularly interrupted with the realization that, unbelievably, your child has the C word.

My mind, like that of other parents, quickly goes to “that place,” where your child’s mortality stands front and center. And I thought as tears streamed down my face in my front yard, “Will Harrison ever mow a lawn? Will he grow up and own a home, have a family, be a husband and father?”

And then I considered, “Does he even need to learn things that will help him later in life?”

Parenting is mostly about preparing kids for adulthood.  Most kids reach adulthood.  Most kids with cancer don’t.  Coming to grips with that is tough for a dad who would step in front of a locomotive for any of his kids.

I’d love to say that after fifteen months into the battle I don’t collapse under the weight of my son’s mortality, but I do. And so do tens of thousands of other parents of kids with cancer. We fight the temptation to let our minds wander, but invariably it happens. Dads want to see their sons grow into young men. We want to teach them to throw a spiral,

…to hit a curve ball,

…to shave,

…even to mow the lawn.

We want to know that when we kick them out of the nest they’ll be responsible adults.

So when cancer threatens to prevent that, we worry. Fear and despair can immobilize us.

As you pray for all parents of children with cancer, moms and dads alike, you can pray for the grace to resist fear.

Many times in Scripture the angel of the Lord says, “Fear not.” I’ll think on that for a while.

9 Comments on “Learning to Mow the Lawn”

  1. Almighty Infinite Father, I lift the McKinion family up to you in prayer this hour. Lord as a dad myself I cannot fathom what this man is going through, but Father I do completely understand the power and truth contained in Your promise that You will never leave us nor forsake us. Lord I pray Your word of power back to you over the McKiniion family today, that there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. May the riches and fullness of Your comfort, peace and power be poured out on each of them this day and may they know the loving grip of Your embrace. Give them comfort where pain has taken root; give them peace where the evil one wishes to cause chaos, doubt and fear; and give them power, Your power to overcome their weakness. May You truly be their sufficiency this day and in the days to come. Keep them close to You Father God. And Father, I pray for this precious, young life, Harrison McKinion. Lord heal this boys body. Make him strong sweet Jesus. Work as only You can, and give him length of days upon Your earth; healthy, strong days, to be a mighty weapon in Your hands and a living testimony of Your healing power both of the body and the soul.I pray all these things in the sweet name of Jesus and in in HIs name alone. Amen.

  2. I to have a son who had cancer. I understand where you are coming from. Our son was diagnosed with non-hodgkin lymphoma in 1995 at the age 13. By the grace of GOD we found the cancer early and were able to treat. He has been cance free since then. And on May 5, he and his wife had there first child. God has been good to him. He has his own business and gives God all the glory. We thank God daily for healing him. I don’t know what people d,o when they don’t have God in their life. Ik still have the scrapbook I started when our church heard about his cance, the prayers and cards were very uplifting during our time of need. Praying that yiou have the same love shown toyou and yours.

    1. Thanks so very much for this note of encouragement. It is always nice to hear the stories of kids who won.

      I am grateful for your son’s recovery, and pray he and his family will enjoy God’s richest blessings.

  3. Oh Steve….we’re right there with you, my friend! Newell and I essentially take turns worrying although here lately we’re both just worn out with the “C” trail. Dylan seems to vacillate as well as to whether it gets him down or not. I will say that he has matured beyond his years which can be good and bad when you’re a rising junior in high school (even though he’s yet to set foot in the high school as a student). What stinks is that we really don’t see an end in sight in the treatment as he is still battling GVHD, even though he is leukemia free right now (and as a “c” club member….its hard to leave the “right now” off that statement). However, we try to remind ourselves that a lot of good has come out of this “ordeal” and think about how strong its made all of us and how we do not take simple things for granted anymore. I know you’re family experiences it too and we’ve all inspired others to do the same. Just don’t beat yourself up for these very natural feelings of fear. I think it actually fuels us with energy! And as always, We just try to “Breathe In….Breathe Out….and Move On.”

    Continued prayers and hugs to all of you and I hope Harrison is getting to play some baseball!

    Hope to see you soon…..but not in the Hospital!


    1. Sandi,

      Dylan is such an encouragement to us. Harrison really looks up to the older kids who have walked or are walking his journey. It means a lot to Ginger and me as well to see Dylan leading the way for other kids. You have much to be proud of.

      We pray for Dylan often, and will continue.

      Hope to see you all soon as well.

  4. Steve I will not burden you with what I have witnessed in the past 72 yrs but I know your feelings. When I have been down I found that having a group of spirit filled belivers to go to and just talk was salve for my soul. Do not allow any negative talking people to come into your family. I believe we know a GOD that knows best and has a plan for each of us. The more we ask him to show us , he does.

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