Another crummy night of sleep for our honey-girl. This time she was up 1-4am. Poor sweetie!! Consequently, everyone slept in. When we all woke up....it was time to start saying goodbye :(
Goodbyes are never easy, especially these days. Today was filled with goodbyes. First we went by the Hollingers (Todd's cousins) and said goodbye to Silas and the other cousins there. Again, Nina didn't want to go in because she was worried people would stare :( but once she saw little cousin Evelyn she cheered up. Then we stopped by Todd's grandmother's home. Great-grandma Marge was happy to see us and the kids were so sweet to her. Great-grandma Marge is in her early 90s and although she has had chronic health complications the last number of years, she has a ton of spunk which I admire! Nina whispered, "Does she take medicine like me?". I assume she asked that because she had seen bottles of medicine. I whispered yes and Nina smiled. It always seems to make her smile when she finds out she isn't the only one taking medicine. Sweet girl!
Then it was time for Todd and Teddy to leave. Teddy was furious about leaving. He complained about how it was always too short and how we should live with the cousins. To his horror, I insisted that we talk through his feelings. He retorted, "Don't you ever stop talking?". I don't!!! When will this kid figure that out?!?!? I waited until he was calm enough and we proceeded to talk about focusing on the positive, the fun times we had with the cousins, instead of lamenting the length of time or the negative. I know Teddy understands what I am saying and trying to help him learn to do, but it goes against his temperament. This is going to be a long journey with him but a necessary one. I plan to continue to focus on this with him, especially now, because I believe it will in essence be preparing him for the worst. By focusing on "reframing" and training him to look at the positive now, I hope it will prevent him from thinking that this focus only emerged because of Nina's illness. I just pray that his little heart and precious mind be protected!!! I wish I could carry his grief, shield him from this pain!!! I wish I could do that for everyone I love!!!
Finally, Todd finished packing up the car and loading up the dog and cat! Mel (the dog) was glad we weren't leaving her behind and Max (the damn cat) made himself comfortable on the passenger seat! That cat is a freak!! The entire time at my folks, he tortured my parent's cat who is older and three times his size. Poor Li (my folk's cat) even got booted out of his own bed!!!!
Goodbyes are not fun!!! As I said, especially now!! Nina cried when she hugged her daddy goodbye! Thankfully, Auntie Shannon had come prepared with activities so we were able to easily redirect Nina. Within seconds (to my relief and Todd's) the tears were dried up and Nina was happily coloring Christmas decorations with Teague and Adelae. I texted Todd to let him know that all was well so he wouldn't worry. We had decided that he and Teddy should go home today instead of when Nina and I fly out tomorrow because that way Teddy could have a full day of rest back before returning to school on Monday.
In the afternoon, my mom's older sister Rosa and her friend Lucia came down from the Bay Area for a visit. It was delightful to see my aunts and spend time with them. They showered Nina and Teddy with gifts and I was thankful to see my parents receive support! My aunt Rosa has an infectious laugh! You can't help but laugh right along with her! God knows we need laughter in our lives and it made me happy to see my parents laughing and having a good evening!
Adelae spent the night once again. Nina was happy to have her big cousin all to herself! They hung out on the couch and watched the Disney Channel and put together the puzzles my aunts had brought. While the girls hung out, I packed up the rest of our belongings. I didn't like the feeling of Is this the last time that kept creeping into my head so I kept pushing it out. When that didn't work, I texted my friends for moral support. Text and thy shall receive!!
Both the girls fell asleep quickly and lucky for me, slept through the night! However, I was a different story. I was a night owl! I worked on email and letters of recommendation. Then around 11pm my Aunt Rosa found me in my father's office and came in to chat with me. It was good to have her to myself for a bit. I have always deeply loved my aunt and appreciated her company and positive outlook on life. She explained that she was worried about me and wanted to know how to help. We talked about my plans, fears, and hopes and came up with a few ways where she could support me, primarily by pouring love into my parents. She then gave me a really big hug. It felt wonderful!!! As she walked out, I rested my head on my hands. I understand how helpless she felt. Everyone wants to know how to help and support us. Everyone worries about us. All I can say is that we need continued prayer and love. There is no guidebook for this mess. But you can never go wrong with prayer and love!!1