Today I am thankful. Something about the sun, the leaves falling, the weekend approaching just makes me happy to be alive. Here are some other things I am thankful for in no particular order;
being able to run every morning this week so far
having an almost potty trained almost three year old, sigh
trying to wean off coffee and not getting too terrible of a headache
watching old little rascals movies with my son so he can choose a character to be for Homecoming tomorrow
listening to Maleah practice piano every night without me having to ask her to do it
hearing Addison beg to go to preschool, getting to attend her field trip today and see lots of chickens
eating a weeknight supper with my sister and her kiddos
feeling the sun on my face in late September
catching up on the dvr with my hubby after the kiddos turn in for the night
hanging up the school photos
planning a golden birthday party for my son, having wonderful friends and family who will help :)
watching coronation plays and laughing harder than I have in a very long time
ignoring basic housework to go for a walk with the girls in the middle of the day
enjoying a quiet afternoon when they sleep exhausted from a long midday walk
making a slideshow of photos of the field trip for Addison to share with other parents
enjoying leftovers and not having to cook every night this week
hearing my kids play outside together every evening until supper
calling my sister 10 times a day for no apparent reason
new ribbon barrettes for Maleah for homecoming thanks to my uber talented sissy
a faithful family who prays for each other in times of need
I was on the the last page of the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy when Dr. Keppen tapped on the door to the room. I tore myself away and immediately began sweating. What did the blood work reveal? Hold on I am getting ahead of myself...
The morning began normal enough. Wakey wakey, walky walky, talky talky...home by 6:30. I tried to shower but for some reason I got sidetracked making lists of my errands so it was after 7 before I cleaned up. I had to hit the bank before I left town and here it doesn't open until 8:30 am. Subconsciously I knew I had several "errands" planned to distract me from the real reason I had to get to town. Right before I left the house I texted my college roomie and made a lunch date. Now I had something to look forward to, good or bad news couldn't change that.
Two hours and the same number of errands later I arrived at the Cancer Center. A quick ride up the elevator and I was on the right floor. They gave me the beeper coaster thingamabob that is so weird and not convenient to carry with my purse, two books, sweater and phone. I really had to use the restroom (damn coffee) so that was my first stop after checking in. I was carrying so much that I had no place to set the stuff down (you know how disgusting those floors are) so I plopped my purse into the other sink and went to wash. Before I could, I heard the automatic faucet turn on and I saw the water pour, at full strength, into my purse and onto the annoying beeper thingy. I tried to get everything out of the sink before it got too wet. For the next hour I dripped like a leaky faucet.
I left a drying path of droplets all the way to the laboratory where I sat and waited to get poked. I read a few pages until I heard a familiar voice say, "Haven't seen you for quite some time, thank goodness." The technician did a great job of chit chatting and doing her job so well that I could not even feel the needle enter my arm. Though, as I watched each vial fill up I wondered how they can do that one handed. She repeatedly removed a vial, tilted it up and down and effortlessly inserted another vial on the needle with a single hand. I kept thinking about what would happen if i coughed or twitched. Would the needle go through my arm? Why does my brain always think of these awful things? She removed the needle, the rubber strap, and her strong hold on my arm and grabbed a cotton ball and a piece of tape to stop the trickle of blood. "Apply a bit of pressure there, dear," she said to me. "Good luck." she nodded to me as I picked up my stuff and walked down the hall and around the corner to the waiting room.
I usually love watching people. The people in waiting rooms are so interesting. There is always some drama going on and I love guessing what they do or what they are "in" for. You can always identify the ones who are coming for infusion. They usually have a large bag of stuff to occupy them and maybe some snacks. They are comfortably dressed in casual clothes or sweats. If they have been going through treatment for a while they may have a bandanna or a hat on their thinning or bald head. Some have a tubes on their chest coming from their port. Many have an iv pole or a wheelchair, recovering from surgery. We all have one terrible thing in common. The "C" word.
But this time I had no desire to people watch. The Mocking Jay was enough to keep me distracted. The hour and 15 minutes I had to wait flew by. When my beeper went off it startled me and then I smiled because I was relieved that I didn't break the darn thing by letting it go for a swim in my purse. The nurse walked me back to the room.
I rattled off the list of my vitamins. She typed them in. She asked me the required questions. I answered them between nervous fidgets. She tried to take my blood pressure. The first time she reminded me gently to not cross my legs. The second time she asked me not to wring my hands. The third time she asked me to sit on the paper sheet so she could do it the "old fashioned way".
"I guess I am a little nervous." I said.
"It's normal." she answered.
I bet. I thought in my anxious nervous brain I didn't say it out loud. I also thought this. Let's get on with it.
"So," she asked as she glanced at my book with the blue and silver cover "Are you team Peeta or team Gale?" We discussed the book for a few minutes and then she left me to finish the last 10 pages.
Minutes later the rap on the door jolted me back into reality.
So, the results?
The Doctor clears his throat. "Let's see....um hmmm....yep." "Um I just want to look at these other numbers, too... yep everything checks out. I'd like to see you in a year again."
As I sit here tonight, ignoring my dishes, the messy kitchen, the towels that need folding, the kids that need nose wiping and hugging, the homework that needs checking...I wallow in my anxiety.
I watch the news, a story about drug use in Montana, and my brain is numb to the horrific, sad, bad news headlines. It doesn't phase me. I glance at the grocery ads that came in the mail today. The rising cost of everything from meat to milk should worry me especially since the pocketbook is fading into the red with every week that passes. Still nothing moves me.
I read an email about prayer. We move our mouths in prayer but don't use our hearts to feel what we are saying. A grim reminder of just one more thing that I am not doing. I feel a pang of guilt, but it is only temporary.
I bark at my family, I resist the urge to crawl under the covers of my bed and hide.
I try to distract myself with my newly borrowed book from the bookmobile. I read a chapter. I close the book. I busy myself with supper; chop an onion, shred some cheese, boil some pasta.
I can't shake the sinking feeling.
Tomorrow I meet with the doctor, again. The needle goes in the arm, the five narrow vials get filled and labeled and I sit and wait and practice the art of distraction, unsuccessfully. Note to self: remember a book. My brain wanders again...my name is called and I head back to the white room with the paper sheet on the bed and wait. What will the blood work find, if anything? Six years later and I am reduced to a scared little child again.
I am sure you have all heard that wedding quote, "This day I will marry my friend, the one I laugh with, live for, dream with, love...". When I got married I honestly thought it was corny. Ryan and I had been together for almost 10 years, since junior high, before we walked down the aisle. It just seemed too cliche.
Today is Mr.Mommyville's birthday. We are the same age for about two months. I got him a small, practical gift and a photo book of summer memories and am currently simmering his favorite soup, white turkey chili. He wanted monster cookies this weekend but I wasn't feeling very good and didn't get them done so I may try to tackle them sometime today.I feel a little guilty about that.
When he got up this morning the kids greeted him with,"Happy Birthday, Daddy!" and he smiled from ear to ear. I think the hugs he got beat any gift I could have bought.
We have been through a lot. I am sure every couple has. It boggles my mind to think of what the future may bring for us. I never know what we are doing until almost the minute it happens.
Then there is the goal. The things we want to accomplish. The plans we have together. We talk about them all the time. There isn't one easy street. It's a whole map full of un-navigable old dirt roads. It reminds me of that movie, "Up". When they keep planning for their dream house and it never materializes. Plans change. The theme of our marriage. Kids, maybe? Two, that feels right. How about 4? Okay. Yes, plans change. The past does not.
If we got married again today. I would send out invitations with the best friend quote on them. Because you know what? It is not corny. It's entirely the truth. Happy birthday, best friend. I love you. Today, and everyday, I am thankful for you!
So this morning I took one little to preschool and the other little and I went to visit my mom who just came back from visiting my aunt in WI. We had a lovely time visiting and my aunt graciously sent some old cookbooks with my mom for me so I was lost in them for most of the morning. After I made another trip to retrieve the first little from school mom made lunch and then we went down to the creek that runs just a mile from her home.
The girls wanted to float milkweed pods in the water. They like to call them boats. Mom was looking for a monarch chrysalis. She wants to have one for the kids to watch hatch. The girls took turns tossing pods and then rocks when they had thrown all the pods their short arms could reach from the gravel road.
I was kneeling at the bridge. My mind was filled with the memories of all the times,as a child,that I had done the exact same thing as my little girls. I thought about trying to find huge rocks that kerplunked into the muddy river. I remembered, when the water was really low, finding shells. Last summer my son and oldest daughter found a ton of them and brought them to mom's in a bucket that, in a short few hours, filled the garage with the stench of rotting sea food.
It seems odd how small that part of the world is. It sure seemed so much bigger when I was little. Still, something so large in my memory had all but been forgotten. How could I forget about such an amazing little place?
Nora, while tossing fists full of sand into the water, slipped on the gravel and lost her pink flip flop on the bridge. She cried, "My shoe, my shoe..." and watched it float quickly upriver where a herd of cattle were enjoying a cool drink. She was crushed. They were her favorite shoes, her only pair of flip flops. I tried to assure her that the weather was cooling, her feet were growing and soon we would have retired the shoes. Alas,she was traumatized. It was too much for her to see that tiny shoe drifting far, far, away.
Again my brain flooded with memories of the time my sister and I lost a pole in the water. I am sure there were many more times similar to it. I could almost feel the thick mud on my legs and my feet as we swam to find the pole.
Today the creek is surrounded by electric fence. A barrier crosses under the bridge so the cattle cannot cross under it. The ditch was overgrown with weeds as tall as me. My mother and I both contemplated going down to the water with a long branch to try and stop the runaway shoe but quickly decided it wasn't worth the trouble.
Nora, however, cried all the way home. When we came upon five lost cattle she slowed her sobs down just a bit and she did only sniffle while she watched the young calf trot alongside his mother looking for a break in the thick reeds. They eventually galloped into an approach near an old shed. Then Nora's face contorted into a painful look as she cried, "I want my other pink shoe!"
As we were leaving my mom's I asked Nora if we should just leave the unlost shoe at Grandma's, since one shoe is not of much use to a person who has two feet. She hesitantly slid her little foot out of the slipper and handed it to me. Her face wrinkled up and she told grandma to throw it away. Then she reminded me that NEXT time she goes the creek she should wear tennis shoes.
On the drive home, Addi suggested that we call the "cops" and tell them that Nora lost her shoe in the creek. Because, she said, "Cops are very good at helping people with problems." I mentioned that they were probably busy helping other people today. Nora chimed in and thought that maybe a daddy had lost a boot and needed it found so he could work and since her shoe was so small the "cops" should concentrate on finding the boot for the daddy first, and besides her shoe was all wet now and she wouldn't be able to wear it.
Then the conversation was not about shoes for a while until I put her down for a rest. "Mommy, can we go shopping for some new pink flip flops when I wake up?" Sniff, sniff, sniffle.
Pastor's sermon was about being "great" today. Greatness meaning who is the most important... you know; top dog, head honcho, big cheese....
I think you know where I am going with this, God's most important is pretty much the opposite of the world's most important. Here, in the world, the most money gets you the best seat, the biggest house, the fastest car, the best cut of meat...
The Lord would say that the weakest, lowest, most needful person is the most important. The ones who are furthest from him are his most cherished. We will ALL be there at times in our lives. It is at that time that He will lift us up and carry us in our journey.
I have had a week. I am not proud of my thoughts and actions. I put myself first before others who needed more than me. I thought because I was strong enough to 'get through' that I was better. But I am not. I am not the best. Pastor's sermon gently reminded me to always think of who Jesus would want to help first. The ones who do not know Him. The ones who desperately need Him. I have not done that this week. I am the example for my children. I must be a better example. I begged for forgiveness this morning.
Now I have to get my mind off of my bad week and remember that He has forgiven me. What to do?
I think I will bake some banana bread and some zucchini squares. Yum.
Think about others today.
And an argument arose among them as to which of them might be the greatest.
But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and
stood him by His side, and said to them, "Whoever receives this child in My name
receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for he who is
least among you, this is the one who is great." (Luke 9:46-48).