Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Be Better Tomorrow

Two updates in one week, someone mark it on the calendar! Many of you probably haven’t even read yesterday’s update yet. Don’t worry; you didn’t miss much, just a bunch of wee-morning mush.

So it’s 5:00 in the morning. Again I can’t fall asleep. Not like I haven’t tried. The house is silently still, all but the sound of Jon’s heavy breathing, sleeping in the other room on the couch. I went upstairs to bed once. I just laid there, my head rushing with a million thoughts. I miss mom. I keep picturing her there, sitting on the edge of my bed. I can smell her perfume. I can still hear her words.

Few of you may know October and November were rough months for me. One day in particular, just before Thanksgiving, I didn’t even want to crawl out of bed. Jon couldn’t coax me out, the boys were busy with their play, and the girls were in school. But Jon, he had went to his parents house that morning, and I imagine he told them I was feeling down, and mom, despite how she must have been feeling herself that day, came to our house, made the grueling ascent upstairs (bad knee, chemo pains and all) and gently convinced me everything would be okay. And she repeated the story she told me several times before of a conversation Josh and her had on the phone one day, and Joshua said to her “everything will be betta' tomorrow”. I don’t think it would’ve mattered one bit what she said to me that afternoon. She could’ve told me that she would beat me over the head with her cane if I didn’t get up. Just the mere fact that she was there, just her presence sitting there with me on the bed, knowing what her and Josh and inevitably others have had to endure, made all my sorrows seem trivial in comparison. And deep down, I already knew it would “be better tomorrow”. It always is.

But it was nice, just knowing that she was there for me. That she would always be there for me. Even now, through my tears, I can smile, knowing she is still here for me, even if only in our memories.

So I’m lying in my bed, and my thoughts drift from her sitting on the edge of my bed to us sitting in her living room. It’s just before Christmas. Jon and dad are in the kitchen hamming it up. Mom’s showing me a picture book Aunt Louise sent to her. We laughed at some of the pictures and the narrations she put with them. In particular, one of mom squeezing Aunt Carol’s arm when they were just babies themselves. I can still imagine her far off look as she remembers the moment.

Now my thoughts drift to mom lying in bed, it’s few days before Christmas. And now I’m sitting on the edge, and I’m trying to convince us both that “it will be better tomorrow”. She’s telling me a story about Aunt Kay. They were on the phone earlier. It’s a story about tires. She’s barely able to focus on the words to tell, but you can tell this story is special.

Finally I decide to just get out of bed. Perhaps now, with my memories etched in this journal, I can leave them for another day.

Yesterday I was going to post about Oreo cookies. Joshua’s favorite. I can’t tell you how many times mom and dad would stop by just to drop off a gallon of milk and a package of Oreos. Heaven only knows, they never lasted through the day, but the kids (and dog) enjoyed every last crumb. The other day we were walking though the store, and we passed an isle that had Oreos displayed. They were on sale.


I couldn’t help but smile, point them out to Kaitlynn, and throw a packet in the cart. To Josh from Grandma.

Tomorrow Josh has an appointment in Pittsburgh. It’s a spinal month. We already know it will be a long day, but it’s almost scary how routine it seems anymore. In an answer to one of yesterday’s questions, this is his 15th spinal tap. Intrathecal with Methotrexate they call it. Five of those spinals were postponed to other dates; due to low counts or the multiple blood infections he had the beginning of last year. But he still got them. Fourteen down – only 7 more to go. He only gets them every third month now. Almost seems surreal. We’re in the single digits now. Really is hard to believe that we are halfway there! As my best friend, Alina, has been telling me all along, look for the light at the end of the tunnel. I think I can start to see it. Not that it doesn’t scare the heck out of me, or that I’m afraid to jinx myself, or that I don’t worry about side effects he might have to endure in his future, but I can see it. I can see that light.

It’s now an hour later… I sure know how to ramble on. As mom could talk about nothing forever on the phone, my fingers can do the same… I’ll be on again. Perhaps Friday, with a day-after report.

With all our love ~ sixteen-ever!

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