So many things I could say, so many things I feel, so many media and art projects I could do/finish to keep as a souvenir: but then there's reality.
What I did do:
- Typical early morning routine with AJ, but a little more lighthearted than usual. (Early mornings are the hardest part of my day, emotionally: it's when I feel most conflicted and anxious.) AJ wore her dress up dress for the day.
- Had the best morning at school that I could: did crafts with the students, participated in Halloween events.
- I took the afternoon off. The reason was that AJ had eye and doctor appointments, but that didn't mean I wasn't going to also enjoy the afternoon. Before picking up AJ from daycare I went to the grocery store deli and bought myself a yummy lunch: butter chicken, salad, naan bread, orange pop. Then I went home and ate it while reading a magazine.
- Picked AJ up from daycare and headed off to appointments, squeezing in a little bit of shopping for myself. Appointments were a little frustrating since everyone was running late. But it all worked out and you'd think the doctor was the most exciting thing ever, because AJ was so happy.
- Then off to my parent's place. Mr Turtle and my brother met us there. We had dinner and did FaceTime with my other brother out of town, so he and my dad could share some birthday fun with AJ.
- Everyone was being brave- or faking it - but we were all sad and uneasy, because my dad's most recent news was not too good. We still don't know the whole picture or treatment plan, but at least a couple of doctors have said that cure may be not possible, which means discussion of controlling vs removing, and a lifespan with a limit.
...of course we all have a limit on our lives, but nobody really wants to hear what it is. Everybody knows we have to say goodbye to our loved ones one day, but we don't want it to be now, or next week, or in six months, or even next year, to be honest.
I remember particularly the first time my parents met AJ. It was our second day in the hospital. They were over the moon with excitement, of course. But I particularly remember my dad talking to AJ about all the things he was going to do with her in the future: cycling, sailing, going to the opera. I remember finding this touching and funny and awkward and a little bit frightening: because who knows how much time we really have? I wanted us to all live in the present. (Of course as the mom of a newborn the present was about all I could handle.) But still I hate being right. My parents have never wasted their time or opportunities, never given anything but their whole hearts to each other and their family. It makes the thought of their time being cut short that much more sad.
And my mom almost went to pieces when we were about to leave and she remembered we hadn't taken photos. (We took them.)
AJ fell asleep in the car and after an short interlude of inevitable irritation at being woken up for bedtime routine (done as quickly as possible) went peacefully back to sleep. I'll try to follow her example.