The school year is almost done.
We are almost there; to summer, to free time,
to that relaxed world without alarm clocks or
tests or appointments.
From a parent's perspective, this has been the
longest year, with the most effort to make the
calendar click from day to day. We sometimes
wish that time moved more slowly, that the days
had weight and heft to them, so we can feel time
moving along, but this year was an example of
how that ability to feel the minutes pass can wear
a body down.
The start of this school year, and the summer that
preceeded it, were a time of debilitating fear and
intense worry. Sweet G was so ill, so weak, so
altered from what a healthy 13 year old should be,
that I feared she would not be with us by the end of
the school year. I cannot describe how eviscerating
it is to admit to your child's mortality. How absolutely
gutted it leaves you to say, "I think my child could die."
And this admission is coupled to the knowledge of how
little there is that you can do to avoid that fate.
The options of any parents, when faced with the serious
illness of a child, are few and impotent. You find the
best care you can, you put your everything into that care,
and you hope. And then, you try to hold the rest of the
family together. You reach out to friends and family and
community to help with the day to day. You hold your
Little e soldiered on through it all, with kind questions
and little thoughtfulnesses. And we tried to support her
and to find distractions for her, so she felt loved and cared
for. We were very lucky indeed in our family and friends.
And here we are, at the end of the school year, alive
and working hard. Sweet G is healthy and strong.
She moves through life with purpose and power, and
the traces of where she was in August and September
are so faint, only those of us immediate to her can see
the remains. She will graduate from her medical care just
after her 8th grade commencement. At home, we will
continue the care set in place during her months of
doctor's visits, but without the tether of weekly or
monthly appointments. This journey isn't finished yet,
but we've cleared the immediate storm, and the surges
that followed. This summer will be a time of stretching
wings and testings new found strength. It won't all be
smooth sailing, but we are in good place now, and I have