|This is the "Med(icine) Room." Eli comes here for an out-patient|
treatments or anything he does not have to be admitted for.
“Would you like a chance to smell my socks?” Eli asked me tonight as he was airing his feet after our walk. “No, I wouldn’t really care anything about that opportunity,” I said. “Ok, well, it’s up to you,” he replied. Boys? He and I watched college football’s Southeastern Conference kick off its season with the University of South Carolina Gamecocks and Vanderbilt University Commodores. He actually watched it with me, too. I couldn’t believe it, and was so relieved to miss out on Spongebob or not have to watch him play "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit" on the Xbox. He has been poking at me all week that he was going to watch Spongebob in the other room while I watched football, but I am tickled that he stayed the whole game with me. I love football. We did not have football at our school growing up, and until I went to Auburn University my junior year, I had only ever been to one football game ever and it was during my freshmen year of high school. I had a date with a guy from Bible Camp that went to Athens High, my first date with a city school guy. We went to “The” game, (there was only one high school in the city), and I was in culture shock. We sat in the student section, which in and of itself was worlds from the handful of bleacher rows in the gym at one of our basketball games, but in front of us a couple of girls got in a fight, like a real hair-pulling, roll-down-a-couple-of-rows fight. Girls! In a fight! It took days for me to relax my eyes and blink after that. My dad didn’t watch football much because he worked all the time, so I wasn’t around it. But, when I got to Auburn, I fell in love – with football. I was a sportswriter during my senior internship at the Opelika-Auburn news in Auburn, Alabama, and it just so happened that my internship was during the fall quarter, football season. Oddly, I covered some high school football even though I had only ever seen a football field in person about seven times in my life. But during that time, I also got to go to Auburn games and sit in the press box and walk the sidelines. It was amazing.
|This was Eli's second day after his first brain surgery.|
But, more than I liked watching football, I loved playing football, which I discovered in the intramural league. To play, consumed my thoughts every day all year long. After I graduated and settled back near home, when I was actually in-shape and rockin’ (and younger) I looked in to playing on the ladies professional team out of Huntsville, but my work schedule as a news reporter had me working weekends, which of course is when they played. Eli played his first, and now, only year of football last season. He was his usual self, passive but cooperative. I loved his coaches, a few of which have visited here in Memphis, and the team is wearing Eli’s number on their helmets this year. It’s so sweet of them to remember him. I was so proud of him for trying it that I decided I would once again try to play myself. I got a try-out and practice schedule for the team out of Huntsville and emailed the coach some questions. I looked at the team pictures from past years to see who I thought I could take. I told Vic that I wanted to play; I had to close that book. He just laughed and said “you’re too old, you will get hurt and you can’t recover from injuries. This team needs you healthy.” Boo. And, truthfully, it is difficult to even get up from playing trains with Caleb, much less to have five other 200-pound women drill me to the ground and pile on top of me. But, don’t tell Vic, I’m still not ruling it out because if my kids are going to be unmotivated to play any sports, guess who is going to play something – yep, this gray-headed old lady. Eli likes to poke at me by saying that he refuses to visit me in the nursing home when I am old, or that he will not watch TV with me when I sit in a chair like Betts and watch (that’s what the grandkids call my mom). I always say, well that’s fine because I won’t be there anyway. “If you want to visit me when I’m old you will have to come to the tennis court or the golf course,” I tell him, and I’m serious. We’ve had a slow day again. Yay! Just the marrow boost and physical therapy. He still enjoys getting your cards and postcards (and coconuts J). We are still quarantine, until his counts get to 2,000, I think. I’ve really pushed the eating today, but didn’t get any more down him than he has been getting. We are already planning our football date tomorrow night with the University of Tennessee and North Carolina State University, and of course, we can’t wait to wrap it up with the premier game of the weekend – Auburn University and Clemson University. We will probably also check the University of Michigan game score off and on throughout the evening Saturday. Tonight, I request special prayers for Blake, the boy I mentioned last night who is fighting medulloblastoma at Vandy. He has been admitted to ICU as a precautionary measure while they monitor some changes in his vitals and chemistries. Ryan’s mom, I think still doesn’t know anything or hasn’t made a decision. I think there was some miscommunication between hospitals concerning paperwork, which is unbelievably frustrating with time being so precious. Jack had to have a second surgery today after the MRI from this morning revealed that yesterday’s surgery left some tumor tissue behind. Last I saw he is doing well from that. Thank you for your continued prayers and for sharing Eli’s story.