Day 163

It was a day full of family, fun, and saltwater healing.

Great Grandma Ruth’s 90th birthday party was a huge success. It was lovely to reunite with family members from near and far. After the cake was served, we all loaded up and went to a nearby beach for sunset.

A cousin who hasn’t seen Benji since his diagnosis sat watching him as he helped another cousin work a sein net. He said Benji looked so good he thought for a minute we were “yankin’ his chain” about the whole leukemia thing.

He was joking, of course, and lovingly so. I admit I felt the urge to feel defensive, to recount the surgeries, procedures, number of doses. Instead, I nodded proudly, accepting the intention of his words, happy that our big family could come and see Benjamin playing just as energetically and happily as the other Gilkey children at the party.

These Gilkey children are running up and down the stairs still, playing games and having such a wonderful time, at nearly midnight. The lemonade stand is tomorrow; another big day. I know I should probably call it. But Benjamin is going back to the hospital Monday and I’m tempted to just let him play.

He’s so happy.

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