It is amazing, the breadth and depth of emotions and experiences one day is capable of holding.
I couldn’t sleep last night. After posting a perfectly sane and normal journal entry, I sat wide awake for hours, contemplating relapse. I allowed myself to wonder what it might look like, how it might present itself. Then I would hate myself for wondering. He is doing so well. That’s all. No further questions please.
I woke up determined to create a peaceful, happy summer day for the boys. When Benjamin padded into the kitchen looking for breakfast, I saw the telltale signs of nausea on his face. His patterns are becoming clear: he gets quite hungry in the morning, then contemplates food, and the smells that come with it. Those smells trigger other strong smells–like saline and alcohol–and he is transported back to the seventh floor. This is why he feels nauseous. This morning, he said as much: “I’m thinking of the hospital all of a sudden. I don’t know why. I don’t want to think about it anymore.” Quick, easy, healthy breakfasts are the answer. Things always go more smoothly when I have a good night’s sleep, and wake up well before the boys do. This was true before leukemia and it’s certainly true now.
The bulk of the day was full of friends. Banyan biked to a buddy’s house this morning while Benji invited a friend over to play. In the afternoon, neighbors came over for tea and watermelon. All the while I was putting the finishing touches on Banyan’s foot locker and preparing it for shipping to Wisconsin, where he’ll be camping for four weeks.
Today, instead of an “it’s not fair” response, Benji’s reaction to the foot locker was “I’m gonna miss Banyan.” I am too. We all are. We are entering our third summer as a Highlands family and we could not be more enthusiastic about the camp experience for our eldest son. As the pocket knife and slingshot and sleeping bag were loaded into his trunk, Banyan grew more and more excited. Adventure awaits our boy. And I know that this summer, more than any before it, he needs this time to just be. He needs to breathe clean northern air and run and laugh and dive. He needs to explore himself and his surroundings, and realize what he is truly capable of. We will miss him like crazy. But we know that up there in the north woods, the song in his spirit will be answered.
When Michael came home tonight, we decided to load up the beach towels and catch a quick sunset. This weekend will be crazy in Sarasota, with the Fourth of July festivities and the Suncoast Offshore Boat Races. We want no part of that madness. Tonight was the calm before the storm, and we enjoyed warm and peaceful waters with dolphins, manatees, and a sweet sunset before a full moon rise. There is nothing like a spontaneous beach trip to make me realize how extremely fortunate we are to live here.