Frannie and Lydia have been taking piano lessons on Monday afternoons. Rourke has been asking if we could take a drive up to Horsetooth, so this last week during their lessons, Rourke, Zinnia, Esther and I took a little hike on the east side of Horsetooth Reservior. It was COLD, but the kids didn't care. They were happy to romp around the rocks and trails. Zinnia asked if she climbed a mountain. Rourke wanted to climb into every crevass he could find.
I was holding Esther's hand because she's still a bit unsteady with her broken leg and a couple of the trails had a bit of a drop off. I had her on the inside of the trail, and when we got to the parts with an edge, she told me not to worry because she wouldn't let me fall.
While we do not yet feel normal, our days, for the most part, are. Little things can bring everything rushing back. Today during our homeschool program we got to learn a little about and launch rockets. As we walked the trail over to the lot where the rockets were launched I was catapulted right back to a year ago. Just about a year ago on a school day we took a nature walk right on that very same trail. I have a picture of one of our girls and Thomas' sister. The temperature, time of day, light, and landscape are nearly exact. This year I am so thankful to say that hair on the heads of Thomas and Esther is not.
|F and M one year ago.|
Oh, I just wanted to stop and cry and call the girls over for another picture. I wanted to rejoice and tell the story of what a year has brought, that God brings us back to these places and we can remember. Last year I would've been on my knees, pouring out my fear. We were on hyper alert for germs because Esther was gearing up for a stem cell transplant. I was scared. This year I could've stood on that trail, hands lifted high with thankfulness. Alas, as with life, my class was running ahead.
This is a fitting analogy to how we're doing right now. Life is running ahead and we're keeping up, but wishing we could sit by the edge of the trail for a bit. Just to breathe it all in and then let it all out. Hiking around the hills at Horsetooth was a bit of that breathing for me. Refreshing. Now if only I can give myself some space to do it. My hands are clenched pretty tightly to our days. I know I can't make up the time I missed last year, but I just don't want to share. Partly because I want to want to settle deeply into the relationships, to see the hearts and needs of my husband and children, but also because I don't know how many days I'll have with any of them. I want to hug them and love them and teach and train them every opportunity I get. When there is five little hearts, there's not a lot left for anything else. I'm sure this swing is natural, and I'm recognizing the need to sit at the edge of the trail.
|We've been growing a thankful tree, a simple way to sit by the trail. The reflection occurs every day for about an hour as the sun illuminates our gratitude.|
Esther had her lab work done today, and it looks great. Her leg is healing and the plate will come out November 26th. Her scans will be the following week. The words that ring in my ears from the neurosurgeon we first saw at the beginning of this road get a bit louder every now and then. He said neuroblastoma usually melts away with chemo, but the problem is that it comes back. For now, it's quiet, making it much easier to choose to not live in constant preparation for the next blow.
Here's a bit of our normal and a few of some not so normal, but really cool, days....
Fun at the pumpkin patch with our school friends. We enjoyed a hay ride, pet the farm animals, played on a giant pile of hay, and hiked out about 1/4 mile to the far edge of the patch and found our pumpkins.
|Esther made her wish!|
This past weekend a nice fairy godmother and fairy godfather came to our house to ask what her wish would be. Her first wish was to go to Disneyland and have a fancy ball with all the princesses. Her secondary wish was to have a castle bed for her and all her sisters. We should find out what will happen in the next few weeks.
Tomorrow night we're even going to a concert! The organization, Blue Star Connection, that gifted us with our piano is having a concert in Ft. Collins on Thursday night. They have some awesome cigar box guitars that a bunch of elementary aged kids built available to purchase and it should be a fun night. We'd love to see you there at the Blind Pig, can buy to sell. It starts at 7pm and should be awesome. The Mayor even declared November 14th, 2013 as Blue Star Connection Day in Fort Collins.