I’ve done this before. I’ve waited for doctor’s appointments where I feared worried about the outcome. I’m pretty sure we all have, between our own, our kids’, and our parents’ appointments. We know how it will go, and we know there will be more waiting afterwards, for tests, pathology, or treatment, and yet we fritter our time away worrying about fearing the result.
It’s not been an easy week.
But it has been the best that it could have been, I think. The Moms and I have had playdate after playdate in the bright sunshine and the cool air of parks around the county and our own backyards. The kids have played and hollered and laughed in glee as they rode their tricycles and bikes with training wheels around and around the walking trail. C has been the best of all husbands, cooking, reassuring, keeping me company as I go to doctor after doctor and test after test, and making sure that the children are happy and engaged, my wishes for them. Facebook friends from back home, from college, from work, and from play cheer me on, and every time I get down, I come back here and read comment after comment wishing me well and making me laugh (Really, Sarah, you wouldn’t send me a lock of your hair? But Devra had such a great idea! I KID.) Twitterfriends send me messages at all times of day or night (Hi, Kate! It’s great to have NZ friends who are up when I can’t sleep!) wishing me well and wishing this cancer to go away.
For it is probably a cancer.
But there will be time to talk about the cancer. Today I want to capture the lightness of the last week, the deepness of friendship, the hugs that have made me cry and taken away a bit of the fear with each one. The hugs that don’t come easy to some of you (Hi, Kristen!) or remind you of family who you have lost to this dreadful beast (oh, so many of you to list — but you know who you are, and so do I, and I don’t know that you want your names bandied about so casually), but that you give. Because you are givers. You are, overwhelmingly, moms, and you make me teary and grateful that motherhood expands our hearts so much that not only is there enough love for each child, but there’s always a little extra for a friend, without diminishing what was there was before.
Last night was no exception.
Around 9, I was expecting a friend who had called and asked if she could drop something by. I had been mopey since well before dinner, and C thought that it would be a great idea to distract me (I was way mopey. I’m not proud of it, but I’m always honest here, so I’ll admit it.). So I put the children down, told them story after story as they fell to sleep, and then got up to see my friend. Thinking I heard her van door, we walked outside in our PJs, and were startled by the clear, crisp night, and bright constellations that shone above. We stood on an old tree stump to get a better view — and I was struck by the ridiculousness of it all, by the sheer humor in the situation — tomorrow, I would have a surgical biopsy that would tell me whether there was surgery, radiation, chemo, or nothing at all in my future, and tonight I had the GALL to fritter away hours with worry. Hours I would want back.
And so, I began to dance. I pulled C up on the stump with me, and convinced him to do a little jig with me, on the stump, in the moonlight, with the stars our audience, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and the leprechauns, and the sheer ridiculousness of it all.
We danced in celebration of life.
Car after car pulled up at the neighbor’s house, and a group of moms gathered, giggly after a night out or in anticipation of a night in, and we glanced at them, with, admittedly, a little envy. C said, “Hey, look — Moms Night Out!” And we laughed, and grasped each other’s hand, and went inside to wait for L.
Not five minutes later, the doorbell rang. The children slept soundly, and I opened the door to find — not L, but FIVE of the Moms, bearing pie (from L), and gifts, and cards, and hugs.
We talked the night away, about children, about kindergarten, about the little ones, about our own work and hopes and dreams, and not about cancer.
And that was the best present I could have ever hoped for. As I finally fell into bed, my last thoughts were not of cancer. Not of worry. Not of fear. But of friendship.
Making it easy to face today.