Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Commute

I drive 10 miles to work each morning. I get up two hours before I need to leave, so why am I zooming every day as I try to get out the door. I eat in the car, usually toast or a good little breakfast sandwich. I drink peppermint tea out of those red beer cups you see at picnics. They're the only things that work in my cup holders. As I drive along, I listen to my books on CD. Am I boring? I listen to the same book series (how do you spell plural series?) over and over. Mitford series, Number One Ladies Detective Agency, or the Cat Who series. Sometimes I listen to other books, and I enjoy them, but I always come back to Father Tim, Precious Romatswe and Jim Qwilleran. Please encourage me to listen to your favorite series. I drive 25mph and 35mph in Black Diamond(do you know about those BD speed traps?) I drive 52 in the 50mph zone and 47 in the 45mph zone. Why 2 over? I always think I'm going to be late, which I never am. I need to knock off my 2 over stretches. I usually cry a little bit on the way to work...the condition of the sunrise sky, the clouds over the foothills, THE mountain in her majesty, a situation with one of my children or James or the little family I work for. I try to dry my tears before I arrive. Sometimes the daddy takes a second look and asks me if I'm alright. My tears are my meditation and my therapy. My 15 minute drive is a good part of my day. The best part is no traffic. No I 405, no back-up (maybe a stopped school bus with it's sign out), no one honking or going crazy. I love my morning drive.

Brain tumor, but that's ok.

Emily Rose is my surrogate grand-daughter. Her mother Jennifer lost both of her parents and asked me and James to be her parents. We love her and her husband Jerell. So I have been blessed to add three year old Emily and her one year old brother Hudson (they are the plus two) to my little flock.

About a year ago, Emily Rose suddenly went cross-eyed. The optomotrist told Jennifer that she had probably always been crosseyed, we were just now noticing! REALLY!? Time for an ophthalmologist at Children's hospital. They decided to treat the eye for a weak muscle and possibly surgery later if patching her good eye didn't work and as an afterthought, let's do an MRI just to make sure there isn't a problem in her brain.

Uh huh, yep there is a brain tumor in there. Scream, cry, (us not her) worry, pray, fast, wait, wait, wait, gaze, take tons of pictures, hug, hug, hug, read, research, think about funerals, how to tell other little children, spoil, give strawberry milkshakes for dinner, wonder if every behavior is due to the tumor...wait, wait, wait and then the appointment with the neurologist.

Yes, there is a tumor in Emily Rose's brain, but it is not causing her eye problem and it should never cause her a problem unless it starts growing. We were stunned and so grateful we could not and cannot express the joy. Emily Rose has a follow-up MRI every so often and that little tumor just sits there doing nothing...nothing. Yesterday was the most recent MRI and still, nothing. It is hard to send a three year old under anesthesia every few months, but considering what we had contemplated it is also...nothing.

Walking the halls of Children's hospital with healthy, bouncy, snippy, adorable, smart Emily Rose is a revelation. Many mommies and daddies have not received the same blessed message Jerell and Jennifer received. Their precious ones have something, not nothing. They look so strong. They look like they know what they are doing. They are bearing their grief with patience and stalwart hearts, for the children.

Love the children.

We are grateful for our blessing. Emily Rose, I love you.

Soon I will figure out how to post photos, but for now just imagine a beautiful, dark haired, little three year old, in a blue dress, with a huge smile, with a chipped tooth (from a flashlight), who has a brain tumor, but that's ok.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's not a book, it's a blog.

My brain is overactive. I compose essays in my head every day. Sometimes I have to get up at night and write whatever is circling around in there. I occasionally put them on paper. I have often thought of collecting my essays in a book called Erin's Essays, but alas, never made it happen. The worldwide web has opened a door to me to freely blab the stuff in my head. I am an exhibitionist (with clothes on) at heart. I love to talk, I love to teach, I love to know, I love to write, I love to see. I don't know if anyone will bother to read my stuff, but I will have the relief of getting it out of my head.

I don't know how to post photos. I don't know how to link links. I don't know how to make anything look cute, but I will learn. Let the blogging begin!