It was another rich, full day here in Sarasota. Benjamin woke up with fishing on the brain. I made a bargain with him, and told him I’d take him to the beach for a couple of hours before lunch, but I’d need to work a bit in the afternoon. It was a deal. His tummy hurt while we were packing up, but not enough to stop him. When we got there, we were greatly rewarded. A group of three manatees came within just a few feet of us. They stayed and played at our beach for the next half hour or so. They were beautifully slow and graceful.
It wasn’t all work this afternoon; I also helped Benji create more artwork to submit to the Children’s Cancer Center holiday card contest. He played with friends, and he made a batch of banana muffins from scratch. In the evening he had a dinner and beach date with Gana and came home super happy, and Michael and I enjoyed a quick date of our own. It was a great day.
So why is there a huge lump in my throat?
Anxiety about Benjamin’s care comes and goes, and its patterns are unpredictable. I feel paranoid about some things while worrying that I’ve grown complacent about others. Some days I have such a solid handle on what I allow into my thoughts. Other days I am much weaker. Infections, relapses, grief and mourning are part of my world every day. I consider distancing myself, then worry that doing so would mean choosing ignorance over reality.
Fortunately these waves of anxiety don’t come nearly as frequently as they did in the early months of maintenance. I know that tonight’s wave is fleeting. Writing each night helps me more than anything, and I am still so grateful for this space. I feel immense relief just emptying the last paragraph. When unnamed feelings and lumps in my throat become words that I can see, they hold less power.
I will not choose ignorance over reality, but I will choose to see our reality. I am thinking of the many adventures Benjamin has had over the last several days, and the ones Banyan is having up north. I see what is real: we have two happy and joy-filled sons who are living rich, healthy lives. We saw dolphins Saturday and manatees this morning, and these are normal encounters for us. This is our reality.