This is what I wrote on a message board that I frequent, one year ago today:
The chemo isn’t working anymore. His lungs are riddled with tumors. Larger and more of them. That’s after a good report on the CT a month ago. The local Oncologist (the one who didn’t listen to me when I said that his legs were weak) said that we could A) make him comfortable and stop chemo OR B) try to get him strong enough to try a different chemo. Stephen isn’t giving up yet so A isn’t an option. The Mayo Oncologists weren’t willing to give up so easily either but our time there is done as far as the insurance company is concerned.
This is going downhill in a hurry, girls. He looks awful. And everyone keeps telling us that he’s just tired from the radiation. I just have a really bad feeling about this. I hate being right. I hate seeing it coming. I hate having the bad feeling. And I can’t talk to anyone about it because I don’t want to be right. I don’t want to scare anyone by projecting my fears on them.
I didn’t know that he had 8 days left on this earth. I never would have guessed. I saw it though, didn’t I?
The weather has changed again and this time it is fall, for real. The nights are cold, the mornings brisk and the afternoons warm but with that touch of chill. I almost can’t take it. This was our time, Stephen and I.
I just want to talk about him to anyone who will listen. I’m sure that my IRL friends who have been with me this whole time are sick of me and my cycling moods. And not in a PMS, girlie kind of way. My “I’m fine. Oh! I’m not fine. Wah!” is probably a little over the top.
I got to tell the story again today of how we met and our dating days and how he proposed. He carved “Will you marry me” into a pumpkin. He designed my ring that I can’t bear to wear anymore. I can’t look at it. I still wear his but I can’t wear mine and I wish I could.
Ella must know, too, that this time of year is significant. She’s been asking for her dad again. “I want daddy to come home. I miss my daddy.” Or she’ll say to me “Do you still love daddy? Do you still love him even though he’s not here? Do you miss daddy too?” She’s just checking, I suppose. She knows the answers to all the questions by now. That is, until she comes up with new questions.
Our last day in Minneapolis was fun. We hit just one big fabric store. I didn’t get much but I still spent a bundle. It was all necessary things: thread, stretch terry, microfleece. Nothing fun. Just one knit print. We went back to the MOA to wander around again. Jill bought the girls matchy-matchy Hannas (spendy) and we finally found Amelia a pair of shoes. She got a pair of See Kai Run hi-top pink shoes. They are super cute and very soft. And there is enough toe room that they should last at least until Christmas. I feel really dumb for leaving her shoes at home. But at least it wasn’t something really important.
The high point of the day was when I took everyone back to the hotel except Ella. And then we went back and rode all the kiddie rides and even some “bigger” ones like the log chute. She. Loved. It. Roller coasters, little train things, spinny things, bouncy things…all of it. She’s an amusement park junkie. Just like her dad. She squealed with glee at every turn of the kiddie roller coaster. Her throat hurt later that night and I’m sure it’s from screaming.
I love that kid.
There are times that she looks at me and I can see her as a teenager or as a grown up. Other times I can still see her as the tiny (ok…not so tiny) baby in my arms with milky running down her cheek. And then sometimes when she is quiet…not moving and not talking…she looks like her daddy. Bright smile, wide eyes, very physical without being all PDA.
Or maybe the memories of him are getting soft around the edges. Maybe my memories of him are turning into my days with Ella.
And maybe that’s why Ella and I feel like we need to talk about him. Maybe those memories are getting too soft for the both of us. I wish she were older. I wish we had had more time to make more memories and solidify the ones we had.