The bond between mother and child is unmatched in its power and strength. But sometimes you hear a story so heartbreakingly beautiful, it reminds you just how remarkable that connection really is.
Nolan Scully lost his battle with cancer in February 2017 at just 4 years old. His mother Ruth wrote a tribute to her son on Facebook so that all of us who did not know him would get a chance to know how much love, and life, is possible — no matter how little time you have been given. She also wanted to bring awareness to childhood cancer and the devastation it creates.
“Two months,” Ruth wrote. “Two months since I’ve held you in my arms, heard how much you loved me, kissed those sweetie ‘pie’ lips. Two months since we’ve snuggled … I’ve wanted for a long time to write a little about Nolan’s last days. His last few days shined with how amazing my son is. How beautiful he is. How he was made of nothing but pure love.”
Nolan was just 3 years old when he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer. After months of chemotherapy, radiation, and fighting, Ruth learned that they were out of options. There were “large tumors that grew, compressing his bronchial tubes and heart,” she says. The cancer was “spreading like wild fire” and Nolan’s oncologist explained that at this point it was untreatable. All they could do now was try to keep him comfortable.
For a mother who had been fighting so hard for her child to live, Ruth knew she had to finally let him go. She writes:
“Me: Poot, this Cancer stuff sucks. You don’t have to fight anymore.
Nolan: (Pure happiness) I DON’T??!! But I will for you Mommy!!
Me: No Poot!! Is that what you have been doing?? Fighting for Mommy??
Nolan: Well DUH!!
Me: Nolan Ray, what is Mommy’s job?
Nolan: To keep me SAFE! (With a big grin)
Me: Honey … I can’t do that anymore here. The only way I can keep you safe is in Heaven. (My heart shattering.)”
Ruth describes the next few days with her son, and as a mother I cannot possibly fathom the strength of character it took to get through this journey.
“We laid in bed together and he sketched out how he wanted his funeral, picked his pall bearers, what he wanted people to wear, wrote down what he was leaving each of us, and even wrote down what he wanted to be remembered as … which of course was a policeman,” she wrote.
Later that night as Nolan slipped into a coma, she describes the last moment of his life:
“My angel took a breath, opened his eyes, smiled at me, and said ‘I love you mommy,’ turned his head towards me and at 11:54 PM Sgt. Rollin Nolan Scully passed away as I was singing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ in his ear. He woke up out of a coma to say he loved me with a smile on his face! My son died a hero.”
Each year, close to 100,000 children under the age of 15 die from cancer worldwide. That’s about 250 children a day.
“I look at everything he accomplished in four short years and can only think of what he could’ve accomplished with a longer life,” Ruth wrote. “But sadly because of Childhood Cancer (rhabdomyosarcoma to be specific), the world and our family will miss out on someone so full of love, who just wanted to protect and serve. We HAVE to do better with funding, research, treatment options.”
Nolan’s life was much too short, but he impacted those around him in ways many cannot accomplish in a lifetime. It is the ones he leaves behind who are left to suffer the most.
“My son was terrified to leave my side, even as I showered,” she wrote. “Now I’m the one terrified to shower. With nothing but an empty shower rug now where once a beautiful perfect little boy laid waiting for his Mommy.”
It just goes to show you how precious life truly is.More On