By the time you read this I will be on my way to the airport, and for all of my posturing I have to admit I am really fucking scared. I am scared to leave my family. I am scared I will get there and they will find a reason they cannot treat me (it happens). I am scared to feel horribly sick and weak. I am afraid of losing my hair. I am afraid of dying.
But I am more afraid of having MS.
This whole BALLS thing. Well now I know what it's like to be so afraid that your balls crawl up into your stomach, because damn. I have had butterflies for days now, a constant churning. One night I had a very vivid dream that I was drinking a frappuccino made of cortisol, a whipped blend of stress hormones, and I told myself to remember to look up Cortisoluccino when I woke up to see if it had been trademarked. (It hasn't, and you can have it if you want because it tastes like metal and fear and I doubt there is a market for that.) I am sick with fear. But also MS, so here we go.
If you know me in real life, or not even, if you sent me texts or emails, wrote comments or called, whatever, please pardon the fact that I may not have gotten back to you. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate everything, but I also needed to be quiet these last few weeks, to turn inward, to drink up my family.
These guys, three people who I love more than I ever knew it was possible to love anything. We went to the beach on a day that was sunny and cold and unbelievably beautiful.
We sat in the sand and breathed in the salt. Some of us ate raw oysters (not me).
(Not him either.)
We hung out with this big guy, an elephant seal who makes me question everything I know about both Darwinism and God. Have you ever heard the gutteral clicking sound they make? It's pure magic and slightly gross.
We also went to the skate park, because that's Zoey's New Year's Resolution, to learn how to skateboard. I love her, this girl who wrote a poem saying she wants to learn to be brave and yet fears nothing.
I watched my kids these past few weeks with shiny eyes, like how you look at a newborn in disbelief and awe, slightly afraid because you just can't believe they are real.
I was a touchy mom these past few weeks, a grabby, talky, kissy mom who blew directly into the open mouth of this guy when his pasta was too hot.
And this--Bryan. I watched him teach Zoey how to skateboard and he was my 7th grade crush again, always. I could watch him skate forever. Or until he sits down next to me a little sweaty and we hold hands and decide it's time to go home and make hot chocolate.
So that. These photos. For the next 6 weeks I will be posting a lot probably, posting photos of everything that is new to me: a new country, new alphabet, photos of new fruits in the market, a new medical procedure, a new immune system. I will write about it all because I don't know how else to get through it.
I apologize if this post is disjointed and poorly written. It's a reflection of my mind right now, and my mind is extremely disjointed and poorly written.
For now, I leave you with this, something I wish I had written because it is so right, a perfect quote by Cheryl Strayed, from her book Tiny Beautiful Things:
"Nobody will protect your from your suffering. You can't cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It's just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal."
p.s. Here is a photo of the "advent" calendar I made for the kids: 43 cards taped to our chalkboard wall. Each one is sealed up with a love note from me and 2 chocolates. 9 of them have a Treasure Hunt leading them to where I have hidden presents for them around the house. Fingers crossed Ozzy doesn't tear them all off within the first few days...