Thursday, January 6, 2011
Wednesday December 22, 2010
I woke up at 5am to the sound of pouring rain. It wasn't just pouring, it was like a monsoon! I had spoken to our pilot from Angel Flights the night before and he had explained that if the weather was bad we would have to delay the flight to Thursday. We had agreed that he would call at 7am to confirm one way or another. From the sounds of it, I knew Nina and I wouldn't be traveling today.
Promptly at 7am, Paul called and said that we would have to postpone until tomorrow. I thanked him for his hospitality and kindness and that I was looking forward to meeting him soon. I then told Todd. We decided that it would be best for him and Teddy to proceed with going to Turlock today. They had a 5 hour drive ahead of them and tomorrow night we were suppose to have the Fredeen Christmas breakfast. It just didn't make any sense for the boys to drive all that way tomorrow and be exhausted. When we broke the news to the kids, Teddy was happy but Nina was furious. She proceeded to scream and cry for the next hour and a half that it took me to finish packing and loading the car. I had planned on wrapping all the gifts later that night but since she and I wouldn't arrive until tomorrow afternoon I had to wrap everything like a mad woman now and send everything prepared with the fellas.
Nina's crying disturbs Teddy to the core! When she cries, you can tangibly see the pain that is flowing through his little body. As she screamed that she wanted to drive with Dada and Teddy, I joined him in his room and explained that she was just tantrumming like any other kid who doesn't get her way. He turned to me in a flash as said with tears welling in his eyes "She's not like other kids, she's got a half-injured brain!" My heart sank and I wrapped my arms around him. He is such an astute child. He feels everything we do and then some! We talked for a bit and then he ran downstairs to try to calm her down. It is amazing how children often times rise to the occasion better than adults. It must be because children can live in the "moment" in the "present" better (or at least more genuinely than adults) because they have a more limited behavioral history, less baggage and consequently less fear about the future. I watched in amazement as Teddy played Wii with Nina, letting her win, trying to make her laugh. Sometimes he succeeded and other times he did not. But he never quit! I admire that about him! He loves her so purely and deeply that he will never quit! That is the kind of love we should all strive for!
Saying goodbye to Todd and Teddy was awful for Nina. She couldn't understand how a 5 hour drive would be too hard on her body. I could tell that both Todd and Teddy were anxious so I texted immediately to tell them she was fine. It took all of 2 minutes for her to calm down. She was heartbroken, that much was evident to the naked eye, but she contained herself. At the end of the day, she is my daughter, and she and I both know how to tantrum and contain ourselves very well!
As Todd and Teddy made their way to Turlock, Nina and I had a girl's day and night. We painted a few more crafts, played Wii, played Go Fish 10,000 times and I lost 10,000 times (for real!), and watched a little bit of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility (Nina loves this movie!). Periodically, Nina would complain that she missed Dada. Each time I tried to redirect her or remind her that we would see him soon she'd yell at me (sometimes with a smack or two) "But you don't understand….I just love him so much!" Oh sweet Nina!
In the late afternoon, Sharon and Mi Na came for a visit. Nina proudly showed them the Miis she had made of Sharon and Larisa and Crystal in her Wii world. I took advantage of the girl's visit to run a quick few errands for dinner. Before leaving for Vons, I suggested to Nina that she make a Mii for Mi Na. Nina didn't hesitate for a bit :)
I love seeing my family and friends delight in Nina. They have always loved her and Teddy. But now, because of Nina, we all have a new found appreciation for the precious nature of life. As such, they love her more deeply. Most of all, I think people are inspired by her. This little ball of fire and tenacity has walked through this valley of darkness with more courage than most adults! She has blindly and faithfully taken my hand each time I have asked her to do something that to the surrounding adults seems impossible. She has contained herself in the face of fear with more strength and dignity than I could even imagine possible in the bravest of soldiers. Nina commands respect, plain and simple! She has earned every merit badge she has and then some!! No wonder people adore her!
Sharon and Mi Na's company was a breath of fresh air. For a brief moment I felt like a "normal" adult. It was good. For once, I didn't feel guilty that I was being selfish. I just enjoyed my beautiful friends! Sometimes I forget that there is a life outside of cancer! My world has shrunk. It used to be this huge universe and now it has shrunk to 900 square feet, day in and day out. I am not complaining. This is my road in life and I am desperately trying to walk it with strength and courage. But often times I forget there is life outside of my sorrow. It is good to be reminded of that life! To be reminded of the "normal" things that none of us appreciate until destruction hits us in the face like a 2x4!!
Towards the end of our day, I made sure Nina took a full Atavan. I needed her to sleep well! God knew I needed sleep as well!