For most parents attending the funeral of your own child is conceivably their worst nightmare. Imagine having to face the possibility twice. Canyon Country author Lisa Solis DeLong confronted such a tragedy and shares her story in “Blood Brothers: A Memoir of Faith and Loss While Raising Two Sons with Cancer.”
Lisa and Dave DeLong’s son Justin was a bright, energetic child when he was diagnosed with leukemia at age 5. After battling the cancer, he went into remission for 10 years. Then on his 15th birthday Justin learned that chemo was no longer working. He succumbed to the cancer 12 days later.
DeLong and her family were left to pick up the pieces and try to find joy in life without their beloved eldest son and brother. Then, six years later, they discovered something terrifying—their youngest son, Jacob, had leukemia too.
DeLong remembers the phone call from her husband telling her that Jacob’s white cell count was abnormally high and could be leukemia. “I couldn’t take it in. I went outside and I just kind of collapsed on the grass. I just sat and sobbed,” Delong said.
The leukemia scare turned out to be fact.
A devout Christian, Lisa says she looked to the sky and addressed God: “What are you doing up there God? What’s happening? I’ve lost one son. I’ve resolved it. I’m okay. I’m moving forward. I’m using my life experience to help other people. I feel a sense of peace and purpose with all of that. And now I’m here and I may have to do this again? This could be happening to me again?”
Blood Brothers chronicles Lisa DeLong’s journey as she struggles to understand how a loving God could allow this to happen.
DeLong says reading memoirs of other people facing tragedy is part of what helped her cope. “For me to sit down with someone else’s book about what happened with their loved one. The loss they experienced. What it was like in the weeks and month after. Any details about their life was so helpful to me.”
DeLong hopes her book can provide the same comfort to others.
You can order an e-book or hard copy of Blood Brothers at the following websites:
DeLong plans to write a follow-up memoir entitled Blood Sister that will concentrate on the effect of Justin and Jacob’s cancer on their two sisters. Jacob just returned to public school this past January.