First of all, thanks to everyone for their kind thoughts about my father. His condition was described as being in a grey zone for a while, which was scary. My brother, Barrett, has been at the hospital every day since dad was admitted, providing the rest of the family with updates. I hate being so far away, but it makes more sense to stagger our visits if dad is getting better instead of worse, and luckily he does seem to be improving.
My dad is out of the ICU. He will need rehab to gain strength before
heading home. The consensus is that he had a severe reaction to the
last round of chemotherapy and the resulting dehydration caused a myriad
of problems. Now when specialists look at my dad and give him about
two years it’s still frightening, but it seems like a gift compared to
where we were just days ago.
Here in Milwaukee it was the first day of school for my girls. They were so happy and excited!
The lovely thing about watching both of my girls at the start of
school is their confidence. Aden is so poised. She always has been.
And lately she just seems so grown up, and tall, and ready to face the
world in a way that’s new and independent. I walked her up to her new
classroom so I could introduce myself to the teacher and get a peek at
her new space. She has friends in her new room already. She’s hoping
they still do show and tell in fourth grade.
Mona’s new teacher seemed very sweet. I liked that he greeted each
child in the doorway while crouched down at their eye level. He
interviewed the kids one at a time, asking for a name and checking his
list, and finding out if they take the bus or get picked up at the end
of the day. Mona has a large messenger-style bag instead of a backpack
this year because she wanted lots of room for her paper creations. She
has a jaunty kind of look about her when she wears it. When it was her
turn at the front of the line she announced her name with pride. She
loves school and she was glad to be back. There was no hesitation in
Mona this morning.
I’m sure I was never even half as cool as either of my girls. I was
always nervous and worried. I’m still nervous and worried but I hide it
better. I love how bold both Aden and Mona are in their own ways,
marching into a new situation and believing it will be great. Because
they are optimists. They have experienced good things and imagine more
good things ahead.
And in a hospital bed the next state over, my dad is fighting to go
home. Because he knows a bit about good things, too, and believes there
is more like it ahead as well. I want him to be right. Nervous and
worried has limited utility. I think I’m better off throwing in my lot
with the optimists.