This is the story of a mother and son.
It is a hard-luck love story between Monica and her ten-year-old, Lucas.
The whole family was gathered around the table for Christmas dinner.
Each person had their own pan over a fondue burner.
What happened was the fuel was running low, so Lucas’ grandmother got up to go into the kitchen to refill the gas.
When she removed the lid to pour more fuel into the pan, a flame shot across and consumed Lucas from his face down to his belly button.
“I was still at the table,” Monica said, “and had no idea that Lucas was burning.
The kitchen caught fire and when I turned, all I could see was my little boy on fire.
His dad ripped his clothes off, put out the fire, carried Lucas to the car, and we raced to the hospital.
I was amazingly calm on the outside but my heart was breaking.”
Like always, Christmas is here again, and Monica has felt it slithering toward her since September.
Talk about carrying so much weight for such a long time!
Every year is always heavy.
It breaks the most resilient spirit.
Lucas has had nine surgeries, with more to come.
Monica was in there for the first one and it was unbearable.
Whenever Lucas is in the hospital he does the same thing.
He shines a light of reassurance to mom and lets her know he’s “doing well.”
He continually gives her the gift of his own strength so she won’t be afraid.
In the past two months, Monica has found the courage to say to herself: “THIS IS HARD!”
But she knew that things have been so hard for Lucas, that she didn’t deserve to admit that things were hard for her, too.
Her vulnerability is unfolding, and she has discovered a deeper love than she’s ever known.
Lucas is fourteen now and in high school.
His faith in God is contagious.
He is so bright in his classes.
He’s on the wrestling team.
Last week he won Gold in the Elite division.
He removes his shirt bearing the scars on his chest, and he is not the least bit self-conscious.
They are his medals, too.