Tuesday, October 15, 2013

California Dreaming

We have been very busy, but a good busy.  Actually, wonderful, magical, blessed time to be together as a family.  Lauren had her Make a Wish, which was to be in a Hollywood movie. She was willing to wait for it.  It was everything that she hoped that it would be, and then some.

Make a Wish is a terrific organization that tries to grant wishes to children with life threatening conditions, like a brain tumor the size of an egg or giant, throbbing osteogenic tumors.  We have been blessed and fortunate to have had two wishes granted in the past 5 months, although that is the ultimate "glass half full" statement.  The empty part of the glass is how we had two children with life threatening illness, simultaneously. I prefer to look at the blessings we have had, and this trip was definitely a blessing.

I must say that we packed a ton into the five days that we were in California: a day at Universal Studios and City Walk, a trip to Santa Monica Pier, a day of filming, a visit to the Hollywood walk of fame, an afternoon at Venice Beach, a drive up to the Griffith Observatory, and through the foothills of Hollywood for a photo op by the famous sign, an evening at the Getty Center which has stunning views from a mountain top...  It was all fantastic.

I think about the opportunity we had to be together, and for Lauren to have her dream of being in a movie, something that we couldn't have possibly done for her on our own.  I am so grateful to Southwest Airlines, those who donated airline miles and hotel points, the generosity of Disney and Universal Studios. We had everything that we could need, and it was all planned out for us.  It was an amazing gift to us all.

As I sat on the beach one afternoon, watching my children play in the surf, I enjoyed some quiet. Brent took his crutches into the water, delighted to be able to swim.  I watched the sun glinting off of the water, reducing the kids forms to silhouettes.  It was really beautiful.

I remember how my friend had shared with me a dream that she had very early in Brent's diagnosis.  She had dreamt of our children, all much older, playing together on the beach.  Monica is one of those people who have dreams that mean something, that seem somehow prophetic. In the very dark days of that fall, I couldn't fathom how her dream could be anything more than a fantasy.  Last week, I watched that dream unfold, right before my eyes on Venice Beach. 

The goose bumps I had could not simply be attributed to the cool ocean breeze, as this realization washed over me.

But as I watched my children splash in the Pacific, I thought about how far we had come.  Sure, we flew 2,000 miles to get here, but the road to this point was really much farther. It was physically grueling, emotionally exhausting, circuitous and perilous.  But, we had arrived together at the Pacific...meaning 'the peaceful' ocean.

Lauren was especially excited to be in the ocean.  She wave jumped, coming up and double pointing to the heavens as she stuck the landings.  Over and over, she took on the waves that came in, delighting in the challenge and celebrating in her own success.  She and Alex went pretty far out, and swam together.  I like how they look out for one another and enjoy each others company.

Olivia found a long stem rose in the surf, and planted it in the sand, reminding me of another dear friend who finds comfort in roses discovered in unexpected places.  Livvy began playing with the waves closer to shore, starting most sandpiper-like, being chased by them as all children do at that age.  Eventually, she too ended up wet, splashing around with Brent.  She isn't experienced about looking out to sea, and she got surprised by a wave, which completely knocked her over.  She came running in to have her face wiped and a sip of Gatorade to wash out the saltwater taste.  And then she was back in the ocean. 

They just pick themselves up, and get back to giggling.  Back to living.

So this morning I was waiting for yesterdays scan results, looking out to sea.  I was trying to be prepared, and not get completely knocked over by the waves.  At long last, the call came and the scans look generally good...only one lymph node to be followed up on in a month. I think we have stuck the landing and can double point to the heavens.

I know that the Pacific was named "peaceful" only relative to the stormy, tumultuous Atlantic.  There are still waves and sharks and other hazards out there.

But, today, I am most grateful for the relative peace that we enjoy as a family, and the good glow of mostly boring scan results.


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, so beautiful. It is so nice to see you have a peaceful stretch in your journey.