The Dawkter's Wife - It's all champagne and caviar now … dahling

Surviving Cancer,The Loony Bin

December 27, 2008

December 27

There are so many things that I want to write about tonight…The end of my semester…Christmas with my family…the list is long and the photos are waiting to be uploaded.

Tonight though, I am offering up instead a short reflection on my life and the journey that I have been on. There will be time tomorrow to post the pictures of happy children, our family meal and the joy of the holidays.

Three years ago today….December 27th 2005…at 7:30 in the morning, I was leaving the house for my first round of chemotherapy. I had tucked the blanket that I was determined to cross-stitch for Zoe into a bag that I had filled with threads, scissors, and movies for the laptop. I didn’t know what to expect for myself or for the baby growing within me. I had to go on faith that taking that step would give us both life.

Days earlier, I had gone to the church that I had been visiting regularly and … after the service, I had spoken with the pastor. I knew the baby couldn’t be baptized…but if she could blessed…it would give me peace. He was stunned, but he blessed her and prayed with me….prayers that I don’t remember…that I wasn’t sure that I believed…but that I desperately needed.

December 27th, 2008.

At 7:30 am, Amy Taylor lost her fight with cancer. She was diagnosed within days of me….and was also pregnant at the time. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy before delivering a healthy baby boy.

Three years ago today, I was just beginning a long journey that has changed my life in countless ways. Amy was at the beginning of her fight. Today I am considered cured from lymphoma….but…Today…Amy’s time with her family has ended.

It is impossible for me to explain why I am so grief-stricken.

I never met Amy. I only know her through her caringbridge website.

And yet…I know Amy…I lived her fears, I shared her battle, I felt her pain….and I am here…and she is not…Tonight there are two small children who have lost their mother…there is a husband who can not roll over in bed and feel his wife’s hot breath against his cheek. There are a mother and a father who have lost their daughter.

It is…incomprehensible.

I took my mother and brother back to the airport so that they could get home and go back to work…and then I stopped at Ikea. I have been eying a bedroom set for Zoe since she was born….and I decided to buy it….and the bedding…and the curtains…and the comforter cover, a pillow….you name it. I spent $500 on a new bedroom for Zoe.

We have been talking with Andrew about moving downstairs…and so when I got home, I moved all of his things back into the other bedroom and Thomas helped me to set his room up really nice. Then…I put together Zoe’s bed and the dresser. It took me hours, but at the end of the night, it looked like I had dreamed it would…a room out of a fairy tale…fit for our princess….

She sleeps with us…and she never goes to bed. Bedtime in our home is a catastrophe. I was trying to make things right.

I don’t know why I chose tonight to put her in her own room. In retrospect…in light of today…it seems silly…foolish…shameful? She screamed and yelled and jumped up and kept trying to run away…and I just laid her next to me on her new bed and tried to sing with her and comfort her. I wanted to cry. I wanted to give up. I felt like tonight was the wrong night to try, but that if I gave in to her that she would cry for longer tomorrow. I rubbed her feet and sang to her and finally…after what felt like forever…she fell asleep in my arms. Her little face was blotchy….she was sad in her princess bed. I…was sad in her princess bed.

What was I thinking? Why would I want her out of my bed? She is just a baby…..Why…why…did I buy her a bedroom and try to make a space for her when I never, ever want to let her go….why?


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