Thursday, January 14, 2016

Don't Delay Love

One year is short. It's only 12 months. Only 12 marrow tests. We are moving from testing her marrow every 2 weeks to just once a month now that she's had stable counts for the last 2 tests. It feels oddly freeing that we'll live in blessed ignorance for four weeks instead of two. It will be glorious to know the feeling, however contrived, of normal. In the meantime we will continue to do weekly checks of her blood counts to make sure her labs look good.

A few days after we learned of her relapse, we went to Costco for household staples. Even though our lives were falling apart, life betrayed us by still moving along. The baby d
idn't stop needing diapers. We didn't use the toilet any less. We put both girls in the cart and moved about the store going through the motions. The store was full, yet it felt so painfully lonely. 

At one point, Ava reached her arms out toward me and asked to be held. I picked her up out of the cart and carried her in my arms all throughout the store. I felt the burn in my arms but I took great comfort in it. The pain I was feeling meant she was alive. She was with me, all 38 pounds of her clinging to me. And I clung to her, needing so much to feel the weight of her small body in my embrace. Will there be a day that I long for one more day to carry her close, to smell her hair, to feel her tiny heart beating right next to mine?

A week ago, at her last biopsy, Ava woke up from surgery and asked me to hold her. I picked her up out of the bed and held her once again. 

"You know, one of these days you won't want me to hold you anymore."

I am super sentimental. So I say this kind of stuff all the time. Her usual response is something like "NO! Mama, I will never feel that way!" But this time was different. 

"So, hold me now."

She quietly whispered this life changing nugget of wisdom into my ear.

I often look to the future anxiously, anticipating all the hurt and the trauma, the anguish and the heartbreak, so much so that I miss out on the joy of now. There is joy. Here, right now. And this pain that is present, that means that there is something worth fighting for, something worth aching for, someone to love.

Ava challenged me that day, as she often does. Don't delay love. Go, go, go. Drop everything and run to your little one and cherish him. Pick up the phone and call your aging parents. Email your brother and tell him you love him. Hug it out with your husband after unsavory words are spoken. Be kind to your annoying tween. Say "hi" to your neighbor. Make time for your friends. Because life is short, after all. A year is only 12 months long.

Life is really hard. (Ask Jude.) But it is also good. So very good.


abbyc326 said...

I LOVE THIS. <3 Thinking of your family and your sweet Ava often.
Abby Ahn (Choi)

Anonymous said...

Corinthians 13:13
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

How wonderful it is to see so much love in a family.