Other Things. There have been a lot of Other Things since this blog began. Vespera's adoption and our subsequent journey to Juarez to claim her freedom. Niteo's entrance into our family, fraught with trepidation, wonder, grace and joy. Graduations. The Wedding. My appendix and carcinoid tumor. Mane's sleep (or general lack, thereof). Car crashes. Homeschooling. The death of my high school friend in Colorado.
And now there is another Other Thing. My Mom. My mom has Merkel Cell Carcinoma. It's a rare, aggressive skin cancer (just quoting wikipedia there). I'm not here to rewrite the details. It's the fact that it's here, as one more Thing. It's the thing that follows us all around now. The shadow that casts before or behind, depending on whether we're facing the sun this day or not.
The flurry of tests and doctors appointments are over for the moment. This week is the calm before the storm. She begins chemo next Tuesday. And radiation next month. And there will be blood draws and scans and many, many more appointments.
So, this Other Thing is here to stay for a while. And I turn slowly toward the sun, toward gratitude, because when we face the sun the shadow falls behind us. I know I can't always look this way...away. And sometimes all we can do is look the shadow in the face and try to remember that the sun is there...behind us. Today, though, I choose to face the sun, if only for these few respite moments.
Forty-Nine. Yes, Janis. :) And all the other friends, who may or may not want their names mentioned on my blog. So, I'll keep them nameless. I am thankful for the love and hugs, the listening ears, the offers for tangible help, the SOUP...
Fifty. Crocheting is a gift, and friends who share the joy of crafting with. Crocheting is my anti-anxiety, anti-depressant drug. It gives my hands something to do, and it brings me the satisfaction of creating. I get the rush of finishing something and the joy of giving things away.
Fifty-One. Found a tunisian crochet hook at the thrift store! Score.
Fifty-Two. Last night, while blogging for Peregrin House, I saw how much Mane has learned in the last month, even with the Other Things happening around us. I am so grateful for the moments when I really see this.
Fifty-Three. Cooperation from Mane on math homework. (Yes, I bribed her with Brie cheese.)
Fifty-Four. Irish cheese (since I won't touch the Brie).
Fifty-Five. A keyboard for my tablet so I can sit here at the kitchen table and type this while Mane studies history!
Fifty-Six. Stickers (also used for bribery).
Fifty-Seven. I am grateful that Mane is so pleased with the little things...like stickers :) I have worked hard to raise a child, who is satisfied, who doesn't demand more all the time. And I see today how much the little things please her, and I'm so grateful.
Fifty-Eight. Telephones. Amazing how much technology shows up in my list of gifts, isn't it? I am grateful for the phone that lets me have an hour conversation with my mom, even though she lives an hour away.
Fifty-Nine. Snow. Yep, I think the little snowflakes are gifts. I love the rain more, but in January I can settle for a little bit of snow.
Sixty. Getting out on Saturday by myself to go to an event where JANIS was speaking at one of my favorite little local stores.
Sixty-One. Netflix documentaries.
Sixty-Two. Crayons. Colored pencils. Oil pastels. All the options!