A beautiful day for a …

… wedding.  Birthday.  And maybe some time to write.

My only brother is getting married today.  John is marrying Anna, and it will be a beautiful outdoor wedding with friends and family in a beautiful space just before sunset in the town where they live.  The bride and groom will say “I do” and dance until midnight, with their groomsmen and bridesmaids and many of their closest friends and family surrounding them with love as they take this next step in their life.  Their parents will be there to support them and affirm them in their decision to marry.

I will not be there.  Although I am DELIGHTED and thrilled that they will be married, as much as it pains me to admit this, I will not be at my brother’s wedding, because I’m not allowed to travel during this first cycle of Chemo 2010.  Xeloda’s effects are not as predictable as other chemos (primarily because most of the other chemos are wicked tough on the body; the first two knocked me out pretty quickly in 2007); they depend a lot on how the medicine interacts with the body.  Since my body has never had Xeloda, my oncologist insisted that I stay close to home — close to her — for this first cycle of chemotherapy, and I was not allowed to travel. 

It’s breaking my heart not to be there with them today, and yet it wasn’t even a choice that could be made.  Since my recurrence was diagnosed in March, I’ve known that flying 3000 miles and then driving to attend this wedding would probably not be possible.  I held out hope, but when my oncologist said “No,” that was that.  The wedding will occur, we have wished them well, and when we all wake up tomorrow, they will be married

and we will be here at home.

We did celebrate today, not only calling the folks across the country to wish them well, but also with my oldest son, who turned the big SIX today.  We pulled together a (very) small celebration, and made little choices into Big Deals, and he has felt thoroughly loved and spoiled rotten today, just as a new SIX should be.  We celebrated with pizza and games and friends and our little family, and he was so happy.  He ends the day with good memories, new lego toys, new star wars toys, phineas and ferb playthings, a new book, and two new games that we can all play together.  He even has his very first chemistry kit (thanks to his cousins!), and all of us are pretty excited about playing with that.  We had a wonderful day, and I hope to write more about it tomorrow.

But for now, I close this day thinking about John and Anna and how they are starting a new life together, about how Widget stands at the gate of a new life, a life called Kindergarten, and about how Little Bear will love his teachers this Fall too, and how everyone is growing up.

Even me.  For as they all grow up and move on to the next step, so shall I.  I’m signing a new NASA contract this week, and I have work that will take me through the next few months.  I’m healthy enough to do it and to enjoy it, and I am all kinds of happy over the work that is to come.

I told the Women in Planetary Science in an email yesterday that September 1 was a new beginning, not just for academics, but for so many of us with even tenuous connections to the school year, and I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Congratulations, John and Anna, on the beginning of your new life together.  And to all of us, for whatever September and the future may bring.


34 Responses to A beautiful day for a …

  1. bon says:

    happy birthday to your boy. 🙂 and congratulations to your brother.

  2. new beginnings are precious. all my best to you and yours and a successful and painless cycle.

  3. Tracy says:

    Congrats to your little brother! Happy bday to your baby boy, sounds like some cool toys … we like Phineus and Ferb too 🙂

  4. Kate @ upsidebackwards says:

    Happy Birthday Widget!
    And congratulations John and Anna. What a glorious day to share.

  5. Oh, Susan!
    What a total bummer that you couldn’t make the wedding–I’m so sorry. But it sounds like you guys made the best of it and enjoyed a sunny big-#6 birthday here in MD.

    Wishing you an easy week–emotionally and physically, and congrats on your contract with NASA. They are surely lucky to have you!

  6. allison says:

    It’s hard not to see this as another thing cancer has robbed you of. But it’s nice that the six-year-old didn’t get his day trumped by a wedding (some pretty strenuous silver-lining-searching, I know). My husband’s grandmother (who we’re both very close with) missed our wedding due to acute appendicitis and I was sad she wasn’t there but the constant lifelong love and support is obviously so much more important.

    • whymommy says:

      We do what we can, don’t we? I was so upset not to be there (and I’ve been upset since I realized it was a slim possibility back in March), but wish them so well on the wedding and the marriage!

  7. Stimey says:

    Wow, all such happy things happening. Except that you can’t be at your brother’s wedding, but hooray for beginnings.

    And SIX?! Widget is SIX? No way. Happy Birthday to him!!!

  8. elesha says:

    Im sorry you missed the wedding. I can only imagen how that felt. But what better way to spend the day than with your little boysxx

  9. JavaMom says:

    What a beautiful way to at least memorialize the day for the happy couple from your point of view, via your post! And six is a wonderful age! September will be a fantastic month for you — a lot of changes, but a lot of good things.

    As always, I’m in awe of all that you do! So sorry you have to miss your brother’s wedding, but so glad all the other good things are happening!

  10. sutari says:

    I certainly hope that “the new book” was “Now We Are Six” !

    I am so sorry you weren’t able to get to the wedding. But just think, when they are celebrating their 10th anniversary, and their 20th, your brother (little? big?) will be able to throw this back in your face! “Well, if you had COME to our wedding….”. Nothing like giving a sibling ammunition for future one-upping! Maybe the best wedding present of all.

    • whymommy says:

      doh! Now we are six indeed!

      Must. read. tonight!

      Hope your back-to-school goes smoothly next week!

      • sutari says:

        Already have 2.5 days under our belt! My older went back on Monday 30th. Of course, she’s been ready since June for school to start! 4th grade. Yikes.

  11. Miss Britt says:

    That means you are also owed a Happy Birthday As A Mom.

    Congratulations on six years of this ride.

  12. NYFriend says:

    Happy Birthday to the big SIX year old! 🙂

    Congratulations to your brother. 🙂

    I hope chemo is going as smoothly as can be. I had a dream about you last night, and you were totally past all this chemo stuff, we had come to visit you and life was just wonderfully *normal*. 🙂

    Big hugs to you my friend.

  13. magpie says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t get to go. Hope you’re feeling okay – much love to you.

  14. Minky says:

    Happy Birthday to Widget! And I hope your brother’s wedding was lovely and filled with joy! I am sorry you weren’t able to be there. I know you would have loved to… I hope you are feeling well physically today!

    • whymommy says:

      I really DID want to be there. I just couldn’t physically. Which sucked. It’s such and up and down with the tiredness and waiting for side effects!

  15. Andrea says:

    Happy birthday to Widget! We were thinking of you all day and missing you so much! Love you!

  16. ella says:

    Congratulations to you all in your different successes!

    I always think of this time of year as a time for starting anew (more so than New Years) and there is always that sense of hope and expectation in the air.

  17. tracey says:

    This post was so uplifting when it could have been so, so sad. You made me smile the whole time. Your positive attitude will once again kick cancer’s butt.

    Congratulations to your brother and his new wife and Happy Birthday to your son!

  18. amanda says:

    You have always made me feel the joys and sorrows of life more keenly. Wishing you a week that leads into a wonderful weekend.

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