Sunday, January 25, 2009

Seeking Balance

I have to say as a general rule that when there are gaps between posts, usually things are going well. Thank you all for your emails and calls with concern, but generally, all is well.

We took off last week for a road trip to Kansas to visit my folks and extended family. Because we've not been able to plan far ahead, we decided to drive. I was a bit skeptical at how kids that are accustomed to traveling at most 60-90 minutes occasionally would deal with a 19 hour, two day trip, but things went very well. We spent four days with at my parents house and had many visitors and also lots of down time. We got lots of great pictures and I'm eager to post them but the time since we've returned has been busy.

I have to admit, too, that the blog is strongly associated with Henry's illness; with working out feelings, with communicating urgent news, and with documenting details and memories. Recently, both Tara and I have been allowing ourselves to get caught up in the flow of daily life. His medicine has become so routine, that we don't even talk about it. I set it on the table, he takes it, we're done. The coming round of chemotherapy will be a bit harder, but 5 days is blessedly short. Visits from the Hospice workers are also becoming anticipated and routine. The kids enjoy their visits and see them as family friends more than social workers and nurses - really a terrific bunch of people. I would never have believed that life could look and feel so 'normal'.

Which I suppose is why, right now, that there are days when things are going so easily well but my head feels filled with sludge. Our family is maturing, Henry included. He's (usually) not very needy, can play very independently for the most part, and is enjoying activities and visitors. We sit around the table at dinner and have fun conversations. Henry and Sophie saying absolutely cute and silly things. We laugh. We tease Anna about boys. It's miraculous and wonderful and perfect.

And it's about at that point - when I've momentarily forgotten, lost in the pleasure of seeing what every parent hopes to have, a happy family - that I feel that squeeze on my shoulder that reminds me of what's to come. There's a moment of anger, a moment of acceptance, a moment of 'why?', a moment of resignedness. Among the flash of emotion, there's a fragment too, of the potential lottery winner, thinking that maybe, just maybe it will just go away and I can have the boy back that I cry about when I look at old pictures. The carefree times before cancer. That maybe one day we can talk of it in the past tense. The dichotomy is a heavy one. I try to keep perspective and remain grateful that we have this time without worrying about what's next. This pain-free, happy, joyful, loving time to spend with "only" the anxiety of tomorrow instead of moment to moment pain. It's a balancing act. But we're truly grateful to be in that place right now.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cousins,
I have been check every day for a new posting--glad to hear from yall again! 19 hours in a car with 3-wow! So happy the trip went well.
Susan

Ashley said...

Hi:
I am relieved to hear that things are good. Just wanted to let you know your family is in our thoughts and prayers.I check the blog everyday just to be up to date. I work at Anna's orthodontist and keep your family close to my heart. :)

rlbates said...

Glad to hear it was a good trip. Take care.

Anonymous said...

We so enjoyed seeing you all. Thanks for making the trip and spending the time to come out to KS. We continue to pray for a miricle for Henry, that the cancer would just go away, but we are also thankful for every normal day that he has and that your family gets together.
Love,
Karen

Anonymous said...

Enjoy life to the fullest! Don't worry about us, we are praying for you and your family even if we're not updated for months! Just know we are here for you and enjoy sharing the memories of such an amazing young man who has won the hearts of so many! Take care and thank you for sharing him and your ups and downs with us all!
Doris Payne

Anonymous said...

We are all so thankful that Henry is enjoying all life has to offer. Seeing him outside and enjoying the snow and having fun with his sisters was heartwarming. More than anything we all wish for that miracle that he and you all so much deserve. The roller coaster of emotions that you all are forced to ride is simply not fair.

Love, Julie, Brad, Patrick, Andrew and Samantha

Ami Czorapinski said...

Just wanted to say "hi" to Henry and let you all know that we think of you often and keep your family in our prayers.

Anonymous said...

I DON'T find the 'boy' joke funny!!!!!

Anna