Back in the 50's, TV host Art Linkletter authored a book entitled "Kids Say The Darnedest Things!" Anyone who has ever raised (or even been around) children can verify that title. While they certainly may say the unexpected, there is usually an element of honesty and truth to their pronouncements. Little Canon Josiah Adkins (grandson #3), who celebrates his 5th birthday this Sunday, is a perfect example.
His mother tells of a recent event that, while I it find hilarious, really spoke to my heart.
Michelle and Canon's older brother Quint were playing in the kitchen floor with Rudy the Cocker Spaniel. For some reason, Canon limped into the room holding a piece of paper in his hand. Michelle said he acted like he was reading some sort of official dispatch as he announced seriously, "Our agent code is 'Latcherated'".
"What?" said Michelle.
Canon repeated the message, "Our agent code is 'Latcherated!'"
"What is Latcherated?" she asked.
"Never give up." he answered seriously, then exited the room.
The kid is a real hoot. What makes the story funny to us, is that no one knows where he came up with the word and it's definition. What makes it poignant is that it speaks so strongly of Canon's character.
For nearly half of Canon's young life he and his family have been dealing with a measure of adversity. The problem first surfaced when, Canon began to limp, and to complain about pain in his lower leg. A trip to the ER and resulting x rays indicated that the tibia was fractured just above the ankle. Everyone was baffled. There had been no trauma of any type. The ER doctors at West Jefferson Parish Hospital referred Canon to New Orleans Children's Hospital where an MRI was ordered. The test showed that a tumor had formed inside the bone and grown large enough that the tibia had been weakened to the point of fracturing under normal activity.
It is a long story, but I will shorten it to the point that surgery was done to dig the tumor out of the bone. Shavings from a cadaver bone were used to fill the void left by the removal of the growth. Canon wore a cast to the hip for a number of weeks. Later a walking cast. Still later a protective boot. Just about the time he was getting accustomed to walking without the boot, the bone broke again. Further MRI tests showed the tumor had returned and was larger than before.
More surgery - this one more extensive. Another cast. A wheel chair. A walker. Eventually another "Moon Boot". Late this Summer the boot was removed and Canon was back to wearing matching shoes again. When I was there in early October, I was saddened to see how much smaller his "problem leg" was than the other. Lack of use had caused the muscles to atrophy and he was limping pretty badly, always under the encouragement of his parents to use the leg and "build up the muscles".
In all, Canon has had tree surgeries on the leg, several MRI's, numerous hospital and doctor visits, and a good bit of pain. Throughout the entire ordeal, Canon has had the sweetest spirit, and shown a maturity that is far beyond his years. He has often thanked God in his bedtime prayers, for his doctors, and even for his cast and his wheel chair. He is a picture of perseverance in a five year old boy.
A couple of weeks ago, in a followup visit to the surgeon, Jay and Michelle were numbed by the news. The leg was broken again. Canon is back into a cast for the third time, and they are awaiting further instructions from the surgeon. No word yet on whether or not the tumor has returned. Only an MRI will determine that. Until that, the question remains unanswered.
We know that Canon's situation could be much worse. There are children suffering all around the nation and the world in more serious condition than he. Our hearts still hurt for him, but we thank God for Canon and for his attitude in adversity. He's a pretty good role model for all of us in that respect. But, why should that surprise us?
After all, his "agent code IS 'Latcherated'".
What is yours?