Monday, October 19, 2015

About 40 minutes after dropping the kids off at school Wednesday, the school nurse called me. When I see “school” on the identification tag, I alway sigh. I either owe money, or have a sick kid. When I answered, the caller said, “Hey, Kristie, this is Tammy, I’ve got Caleb here.”…. Phew! sick kid, thank goodness cuz it ain’t Friday yet. I always feel bad to hate a call from the school nurse because they are always so nice. She said he was complaining of a headache, coughing, and his temp was 99. I didn’t have to come get him, but she wanted me to know he had come in. Well, no, I said, I will come get him because I don’t know if something worse is coming. Well, it wasn’t. He was completely fine. I think tired from not getting in bed on time from Fall break, coughing from allergies was making him warm.
He played all day, and was fine except for the nagging cough. But, I was actually so excited to go get him! I didn’t have to call Melissa from Houston, or Memphis, or anywhere that is not home to go take care of my child. I could do it, and did it myself.

I am trying to shake that transient feeling that has hung over me for the last almost four years, and find some footing. I have been taking the kids to school, and picking them up, working shifts at the fall festival, and taking them to ballgames. Those don’t seem like big-deal things, but when those mundane chores of every day life are taken from you, that makes them big deals.

Eli continues to feel good. He is having no issues, none. Some days I think he is bored when the others go off to school, but then again, because he has been separated from them so much, I think he also enjoys being at home by himself. Sadly, he does not take advantage of Caleb as a playmate when he is home. He does, however, watch the clock for when his daddy will be home. I have not heard officially, but I think we go to St. Jude in Memphis on Wednesday to start the trial on Thursday or Friday. Day one of the trial is an all day infusion, then after that it will be pills that we will give him at home. So, it feels weird. I was talking with a friend at fall festival, and she said, “So, you’re home for a while… no, wait you are home…like staying home, yay!”

The kids had fall break at the beginning of the week. We went to a movie one day that Eli has been waiting to come out and saving a gift card for, then the second day, I wanted us to do something kind of outside, but Eli can’t really hike or ride a bike, and we only had an afternoon after doing home chores. I took them to visit Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman, Alabama. It’s a park, or garden, at St. Bernard Abbey that features 125 miniature stone sculptures of famous religious buildings, statues, and monuments around the world. It was all carved or created by hand by one of the monks, I think in the early 20th century. It was a gorgeous day, and a beautiful setting, and the sculptures and the detail of the the tiny outdoor artwork were very interesting and beautiful. We enjoyed the stroll through. As I said, then we had fall festival, and Saturday the girls had an activity at church with some ladies from the congregation, Caleb had Upward basketball sign-ups, and we picked out pumpkins to paint - not carve.

I have sat for a while trying to think of an interesting, creative, poetic way to say that I am sad. But, I give up. I am sad. Baylee, for whom you have been praying is on hospice now, and I got a text last week from Leah’s mom that Leah, a local teen, has relapsed (different cancer). It is all just so frustratingly heartbreaking. Why is this not an epidemic? Two thousand children are killed by cancer every year. These children did not ignore the warning statement on the side of a cigarette carton, they have not lived on earth long enough to be affected environmentally, they have not lived long enough to eat enough crap food that so many want us to think is the cause. Why are law-makers not hunting down the number one disease killer of children, and why is there not a louder outcry from the people. If each of the six children that lost their lives each day were in the news each day, how startling would it be to see that. Every day, in the news, six different kids announced as dead due to an unknown killer, and their names are scrolled across the bottom of your television like a ballgame update. There’s something for Time Square, scroll the names of each kid each day that dies from cancer.

I am just so, so very heartbroken for these girls, both 17, and their families, so precious, and always positive, beautiful examples of grace under fire. Seventeen-year-old girls should not be talking to hospice nurses, or canceling their date to have a subcutaneous port placed for chemo - again! I’ll breath now, but remember them in prayer, and the additional layers being a teen adds to it all.

So, the truck and camper still for sale. We’ve had inquiries, but no movement yet. A mustang buddy in Michigan tried to persuade me to start a gofundme for the car for Eli, but I said no b/c we want to do it with what we have, and we are fine getting an older, cheaper one - yet still cool, so, ya know, still got an image. Then it was suggested that I start a gofundme so that anyone that wants to could be a part of it. Well, now they are hittin’ me right in the team spirit with that because we are living on your prayer efforts right now, and you are just a big, precious, beautiful part of Eli’s life, so if you want to be a part of this for him, then this is what I’m going to do… but this is just for fun, so please, please, do not feel obligated. The holidays are coming, lots of opportunities to give to needy causes, so don’t let this take away from any of that benevolence. I will launch a gofundme, BUT, you are limited to no more than $10! Doesn’t have to be that much, just no more than that because it is just a little something for you to be a part of this for Eli. But, on your honor, no more than that or I will feel bad about it and will close it up. And, just to make sure you understand, Eli will never drive this car. It will be his, and he will try to hide the biggest smile, but we know he won’t ever drive it. We hope to enjoy it with him while we can, maybe it will be special enough to put it in a couple of car shows for fun, something about it that people know when they see it that it’s Eli’s car, but he will never drive it. It will be Vic, or me, or one day one of the other kids depending on the airbags (and what kind of mustang it is) and if we need them to. So, keep that in mind when you are deciding if you want to participate. Anyway, this is for fun, and maybe if we can get the truck and camper sold, we’ll be able to get something in time for his birthday on December 3. So, here is the link: https://www.gofundme.com/elismustang And if you don’t like to give through sites like this that charge, just forget it, or if you just really want to, you can mail it to 24900 Savannah Trail, Athens, AL 35613. We will put it in his jar.

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