The night before I left home to bring Eli back to Memphis so he could begin chemo, I went through our nighttime prep for bed with Caleb. The kids have simple basic chores that are part of that, including brushing their teeth, getting a vitamin, using the potty, picking up their room and pulling out school clothes. After that we read, sing, and then turn the lights out to pray. Knowing that I wouldn’t be with him for weeks was heavy on my heart and I was so emotional trying to read to him then listen to him sing and say his prayer. I didn’t want him to see me upset or ask anything that I didn’t want to answer at that moment, so I just had to hold my breath to keep from sobbing. When he finished his prayer, I leaned down to him but couldn’t kiss him or speak because any change of tension in facial muscles would open the flood gates. So, I just leaned down and pressed my cheek to his. I could hear the loose vibrations of his lazy pacy pulls with my ear so close to his mouth. I held my check there a second, and he wrapped a sleepy arm around my neck and said “I love you, too.” I thought my heart was going to explode right out of my chest before I could get out of there. I gently but swiftly shut his door and just lost it standing right there with my hand still on the doorknob. I wasn’t sure I was going to recover easily or quickly, but I went to the girls’ room next and they have a “special” way of reining me in. “So, ifyou are gone that long does that mean that only daddy will be here and other people will do stuff for us?” They are a tough crowd. Eli has had a hard day today – still not as bad as the first day, but not near as good as yesterday like we expected. He is having really bad bottom trouble, and has thrown up a couple times. He has not had much good sleep because we have to wake him up every two hours around the clock to pee. So, add all that up and it equals irritable. He was also anticipating Vic getting here, and I think all of it rolled together was just a lot to take. By the time Vic and the kids got here at almost 8 p.m. and I had to wake him up (which if you were at the Relay for Life walk, you know how well that goes over) to visit. Vic and I planned to switch, but poor Eli was so upset he said he needed both of us to feel better. I get so mad sometimes thinking about how this has disrupted our family and affects all the kids. It’s not right that Eli had to choose. Knowing that whoever stayed would have to wake up every two hours, do the special betadine bath, clean almost constant diarrhea, and the like, I told Eli that I should stay one more night so Daddy could get good sleep before coming for an unknown amount of time. So, I’m still here, but I plan to be home tomorrow night. Tomorrow is Eli’s “day of rest” where he gets nothing and we hope his symptoms will begin to fade. The next day they will begin the stem cell transplant and likely will begin receiving his nutrition from a feeding tube through his existing line. After that, we will just have to pray his white blood cells begin to respond and he doesn’t get any kind of infection during its slow climb. The picture tonight is of his walk around the floor. I tried to let him ride the pole and I push it, but we got in trouble. That reminds me of when I worked at security at the airport and got in trouble playing with a wheelchair. I’ll save that one.