|Our last morning at the Four Seasons|
Today was an excellent day. The sun was shinning brilliant in Beverly Hills and Nina was more comfortable in her new surroundings. We started off the morning by going to the farmer's market, which Nina LOVED! In fact, she had been asking to go to a market from the moment we arrived. She chose some apples, oranges, carrots, and a couple of peaches. Then Linda introduced to the kettle corn and Nina was in heaven!
We had a relaxing lunch at the Marbans. Nina especially loved Linda's dance routine! She was in stitches and I was so happy that the Marbans could spend such a wonderful day with our girl, hearing her recount stories of her childhood (her favorite thing to do these days) and hear her infectious laugh. Unfortunately, they had never met Nina prior to her diagnosis. When we were first at Cedars, Nina was a fraction of who she was. Since radiation she had grown in strength and most of her personality has returned. That is a huge blessing! No I stand corrected, that is a MIRACLE and we are soooo very thankful!
After lunch, Linda, I and the girls were off to the American Girl Store. Eduardo had surprised us all and made a reservation for us to go have tea there. How precious! As we drove to the store, Nina and Cristina began to sing along to the Miley Cyrus song on the radio. I looked back and saw the biggest smiles on both of the girls. Immediately, the lump that I hate so much returned in a flash. I quickly looked away, staring at the passing cars, willing my tears back in! Linda just grabbed my hand and held it tightly! Words were not necessary! She knew what was going through my mind because it was going through hers!
Upon arriving, each of the girls got to chose a doll. If you are a girlie girl and you have never been to this store, you need to go! Linda and I enjoyed it just as much as the girls! The store is covered in beautiful dolls, and there is one just like you! However, the icing on the cake is the myriad of outfits, pets, and accessories you can chose for you doll. Holy smoke....Linda and I could have spent the entire afternoon picking out the perfect outfit for our own baby-dolls :)
Once the girls chose their dolls, we went upstairs and had a light lunch. The dolls sat with us of course, which the girls found to be hysterical! We ate, laughed, and had a great time in an amazing pink-drenched restaurant! It is not uncommon for Nina to fuss at food these days if it doesn't meet her exact expectations. This is what she did when the cheese pizza arrived. "I don't like this pizza!" she howled at me! However, I've learned that if I don't make a big deal and just wait her out, eventually she will succumb to the enticing smells of the surrounding grub and dig in. Within 2 minutes, she was munching on her cheese pizza and her chocolate milkshake. She just likes to keep her mama constantly on her toes!
Our American Girl excursion left us all tired so we spent the rest of the evening hanging out the Marbans. We were now officially staying in their guest house, which Nina sweetly referred to as the "new hotel" :) Nina and Cristina played with their new dolls and we joined them for a round of Pretty Pretty Princess. As we sat by the fireplace, the girls laughing and having a good time, that damn lump began to return. Linda saw it. She knew what I was thinking. She was lamenting it herself. Our girls could have been wonderful friends! God willing...they will be life-long friends.
Once the girls were asleep, Linda joined me in the living room. It was dark and the evening had turned windy. I sat on the large couch with my friend and wept. The trip had been incredible so far but I couldn't contain it any longer. Each happy memory I had made was still covered by a sense of sadness. Linda did what she does best...she held me like a loving sister would and reminded me she loved me! My soul ached but it helped to have love poured into me!