Benjamin’s legs hurt so badly last night that he was crying as he was falling asleep. We offered pain medicine, but he refused; he said it was not quite like the Vincristine leg pain he’d experienced before, but a different kind of hurt. Maybe the Erwinia was giving him a final goodbye, one last reminder of the twenty-four shots he’s had? I don’t know. But once he fell asleep, much later than usual, he slept soundly.
Benji woke up this morning in great spirits, and we all enjoyed a nice, easy Saturday. Sam Cooke filled my kitchen as I made brunch with a little something for everyone. Then Michael took the boys on a bike ride to their school to shoot hoops, while I went alone to my local yarn store to stock up on their clearance alpaca blends. I’ve been knitting so much lately. Busy hands, happy heart, or something like that. In the afternoon, we cheered Banyan on as he played a terrific game of basketball, then headed over to The Celery Fields for a hike and some bird watching. The boys are now snuggled up with their daddy and a Saturday evening movie.
There were a few moments today when I caught myself experiencing such happiness that I questioned it. How can I be dancing in the kitchen making pancakes while my son has leukemia? Aren’t I supposed to be miserable right now? Or, much worse, when I caught myself watching Benji feeling so good that I questioned his treatment. Shouldn’t the chemo be making him feel worse? Does this mean it hasn’t been working as well as we’ve hoped?
I feel very grateful that I am able to acknowledge these thoughts and quickly dismiss them. They are not welcome here. Of course I am allowed to feel happy when making brunch on a Saturday morning. Of course I am allowed to take pleasure in watching Benjamin enjoy the strength of his body, and run at full speed. I don’t let the thoughts take control, but I can’t prevent them from visiting, making their presence known. I close the door on them, but I know they’re there, waiting for me in case I slip and let them in.
The kind of gratitude that fills this house now is a kind I’ve never really known before. I think I’ll settle in tonight with a stack of thank you cards, and a new skein of alpaca yarn.