Today was The Boy's birthday. 12 years old. And aren't kids amazing ... "This was my best birthday ever!" he said. Two of his aunts, two and 1 grandfather were all here. He knows they're here because of Little Warrior. But we're all trying to enjoy what we can.
He is an amazing kid. Really, truly. We "woke him up" (he was pretending to be asleep as is our tradition) with a birthday cake -- butterscotch cake with butterscotch frosting, in honor of the the Butterscotch Krimpets from one of his favorite books, Maniac Magee.
It was a good day; a good weekend. Enjoying the rare privilege of all being together.
But tomorrow, we dive back in to reality. I have been studying all the info on recurrent Wilms' Tumor that I can. Studying the effects of chemo is not for the faint of heart. One of the proposed drugs is a derivative of mustard gas.
I spoke to my godmother today. She is blind from macular degeneration and her husband, my great-big-gentle-bear of a godfather, has Parkinsons and dementia and has to live at a home, because he occasionally has rages. But the medicine seems to be working. He lives in the past, she says. A music lover, he remembers every song he ever knew. "All I have to do is say one line, and he remembers the rest," she says. She adds, "But he can't remember what he had for lunch."
We talk about our individual experiences and about how we are learning to live "the new normal." I ask her, "But are you able to enjoy things?" She says yes. She even went to a concert the other day and thoroughly enjoyed it. We are on the same page, learning to cherish every bit of enjoyment we can get.
It's a cold and a broken Hallelujah for both of us, but still, we find our Hallelujah.