It’s “Square Dancing Day”

“Swing your partner round and round. Kick ’em in the head and knock ’em down.”

Well, that’s what the boys in Mr. Hubbell’s elementary school gym class used to sing when we were tortured with square dance week. So much for learning any social graces back in old Kirkersville, Ohio. It was the 70’s though – we probably should have been learning disco moves.

I love to dance. Tap is my favorite, but I like any sort of dancing. I used to be a cocktail waitress at a bar in Summit County, which was known for having country music bands on the weekends. It was always jam-packed full of people and the only way I could get drinks to my customers was to two-step through the crowd with my tray full of beverages. I know. I’m talented.

I’m not trying to make myself out to be this super graceful person – I am NOT. I can dance better than I can walk. At least, that’s what my mother says. I do believe I’ve broken all my toes at one point or another, all from the simple task of walking. I even separated the cartilage in my big toe while walking down stairs. My toe decided to fold itself under the same foot it was attached to and I put my full weight right on top of  it. To this day I can still feel the pain (which happened when I was in elementary school). Too bad it didn’t happen during square dancing week. I could have done without dealing with the boys who didn’t take dancing nearly as seriously as I did.

It’s difficult to find a boy to dance with me because I always lead. Just ask Matt. I can’t help it, though. I want to dance so bad that I tend to take over. Matt was kind enough to take ballroom dancing classes with me – a gift from him for one of my birthdays – and I always tried to lead. The instructor was always reprimanding me. We didn’t get very far.

I think that boys are too busy feeling goofy and unsure of themselves while on the dance floor. Maybe it’s because they think everyone is staring at them when others are probably too busy feeling insecure with their own dance moves to look at anyone else. I’m teaching Ben early because I want him to feel comfortable on the dance floor. He’ll be able to go up to any lady, grab her by the hand, and twirl her out on the floor with great flourish. He might end up being much smaller than any of his peers, but he’ll be able to get down better than anyone else. Maybe he’ll be tortured by his buddies for knowing how to dance, but the ladies will love it.

I danced with him yesterday. He was so sad. The first downer was that his buddy, Matt, couldn’t come over. He hadn’t seen Matt in nearly two years because Matt moved away to Grand Junction when his dad got a new job. They were best buddies – even to the extent of Matt and Ben dressing as Mario and Luigi for Halloween the year before Matt moved away.  So, when Matt’s family made plans to come to Denver over Thanksgiving, we planned to get the boys together. Ben was so excited. Then, yesterday morning, Matt’s mom called to let me know that Matt’s little brother wasn’t feeling well. Given the fact that Ben’s counts were so low, we had to make the painful decision to cancel the visit. The news was crushing to Ben. He cried quite a bit and asked questions like “Why is everything against me?” Heartbreaking.

Then, about an hour later, we were having the usual struggles of getting him to eat. It’s always a painstaking process to get him through mealtime (unless it’s a Burger King double cheeseburger) but yesterday was a bit more trying than usual. That’s when Ben showed us his tongue. It was all swollen on one side and had a big sore right in the middle. I’m sure it wouldn’t make mealtime very pleasant. He’d had a lot of trouble with mouth sores during his first battle with cancer. Right after his first round of chemo he got terrible mouth sores and stopped eating all together. He went on IV nutrition for the duration of his treatment (15 months). So, I guess we should be grateful that the mouth sores stayed away for as long as they did this time.

I ran off to the store to buy ice cream because he said that a milkshake sounded good, but after I made it, he didn’t want to eat that either. While he was struggling to drink the milkshake, he said, “Why do I feel so hot?” Craptastic. He had a fever. Even a low grade fever means a trip to the hospital for him. So, while we were packing him up for a trip to the Children’s Hilton, he laid on the bed and cried. He said he just knew that this day would get worse. First Matt, then the sores, and now the hospital.

He was getting frustrated with Madeline trying to be in the middle of everything – and honestly, I was heading in that direction myself because she kept stepping over Ben on the bed. But she was coming over to whisper in my ear. She said, “Mommy, sing to him. Sing ‘Blackbird'”. So I grabbed him, held him in my lap, and sang ‘Blackbird’. He joined in and as tears rolled down our cheeks we swayed to our singing. Madeline kept stroking his head as he cried and saying things like “I’ll see you when you’re done with the cancer”. She is trying so hard to grasp this ridiculous concept of her brother having to sporadically be rushed off to the hospital. How do I help her understand?

And then my sweet Ben, asking questions like “Am I going to die?” As he was laying on the bed, he talked about Eden and Allie – his little friends who died from Neuroblastoma. And of course he’s scared. I’m scared, too. And how do I keep him from being scared all the time when I’m absolutely terrified that he is going to die? How do I help him? None of these things are in the parenting handbook. I feel absolutely helpless. Hopeful, yet helpless. I don’t recommend this particular emotional state for anyone.

So, what do I do? How do I get through this? I guess I’ll go do laundry. Maybe put up a few Christmas decorations. Because even though this life is muddled with the ridiculous and painful, everyday life goes on. And I’m all out of  clean underwear.

Time to start dancing instead of walking. At least I can attempt to look graceful while getting my children through this. And I can’t do that without clean underwear.

Today is Open

There is no holiday scheduled for today. And admittedly, I’m at a loss. Last time this occurred I talked about butter. I’m just not feeling that clever today.

I can’t believe this week is Thanksgiving. This year has completely flown by, which is difficult to accept when I want to cling to every single day. Ben is struggling. Madeline is struggling. Ben was emotional and weepy yesterday (cannot blame him for that) and Madeline was struggling with attention issues (cannot blame her for that). She has been saying that we love Ben more than we love her. It breaks my heart. She’s having trouble connecting at school. Her teacher mentioned that Madeline acts as if school is something that is “done” to her – like it’s some sort of punishment. I could see that in later years, but this is Kindergarten. She should be having a blast.

We’re trying to get excited about the holiday season. Hopefully, Ben will stay out of the hospital this week (although we have to go in each day for a shot… don’t get me started on the inefficiency of the mail-order drug company we’re dealing with). I have a small turkey breast for Thanksgiving and then stuff for side dishes. I’m going to make a pumpkin pie (barf) for Matt. I love the cooking aspect, I just don’t necessarily love to eat Thanksgiving food. I know, I have some severe mental deficiencies.

Then, this weekend, we’ll hopefully be decorating for Christmas. Time to put up THE TREE. THE TREE that’s bigger than our house. THE TREE that I cannot reach the top of, despite using our tallest ladder. THE TREE that has no ornaments on the top because I just can’t reach… so I created giant letters that spell out “JOY” and place them on the top. While it’s very aesthetically pleasing – these large letters spelling out “JOY” – if you’re looking at THE TREE from the wrong angle, it looks like THE TREE says “OY” instead of “JOY”. For my non-Yiddish speaking friends, oy is used as an expression of woe. As in, “Oy, that is one big tree.”

Prior to “THE TREE”, we had been borrowing trees from here and there – whoever had one to spare – because Ben could not be around live Christmas trees. After his bone marrow transplant we had to give up our live tree habit. Ben had to steer clear of a lot of nature… mold was the biggest culprit. No live trees. So, we borrowed. But in moving to CO, we had no one to borrow from, so my parents sprung for the biggest tree Sam’s Club had. And it sure is big. And Febreze makes a pine-scented spray available just for the holidays so who needs a live tree?

Actually, the last live tree we bought was two months before Ben was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. I remember wearing a red sweater and black pants. I was several months pregnant with Madeline. Ben was tired and wanted me to carry him. His legs hurt. I remember that we had been to several doctor’s appointments to try and figure out what was ailing our Ben, but we had no answers at this point. So, I held him. We snuggled. He laid his head on my shoulder as we wandered through the trees. Cancer was eating away at him then. I hate that it was in there and I had no idea. I couldn’t protect him from the scariest monster in the whole world. Couldn’t kiss away the hurts. And I’m sure it was in there laughing at us. Stealing the life from my son so it could continue to live and breathe and grow. Sneaky bastard.

Oh well. Cancer might try to ruin our holiday season but I won’t let it. We’re not making any firm plans because that would just be setting us up for disappointment. So, we’ll take each day as it comes. And while we’d like to get THE TREE up this weekend, we’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m also going to rethink the placement of my giant letters so we can see the JOY instead of the OY.

It’s “World Hello Day” and “False Confession Day”

World Hello Day was created in 1973 during the conflict between Egypt and Israel. The creators (Americans) felt that if we all got out and said hello to at least 10 people we would be promoting a peaceful environment thus opening the lines of communication and stopping all the unrest in the world.

It’s 36 years later, there’s still conflict between Egypt and Israel, and I highly doubt that saying hello to 10 people today will do anything to alleviate unrest in the middle east. It’s a nice idea – and certainly neighborly – but I don’t see it happening. Good thing that terrorist living in my neighborhood has been carted off to jail. I don’t think he’d be interested in any hello’s from me, even during World Hello Day.

Besides, today is a bad day for such a holiday because today just happens to be game day between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines. Their rivalry has been in place nearly as long as the conflict between Egypt and Israel. I guess I could challenge all Ohio State Buckeye Fans to say hello to 10 Michigan State Wolverine Fans. Yeah. That will happen. Sometimes we just love to hate. (Go Bucks)

I guess my Buckeye friends could just say that they said hello to 10 Wolverines. After all, it is False Confession Day, too. “Yep. I did my part. I said Hello to 10 people from Ann Arbor.” And it would be totally appropriate to say “psych” under your breath because today it’s okay to confess to something you didn’t do.

Who would do that? In watching my children interact, I see quite the opposite.

Mom: “Ben, did you leave Legos all over the floor?”

Ben: “Can’t say that I did, Mom.”

Mom: “Well, who did?”

Ben: “Must have been Madeline.”

Right. Legos are Ben’s domain. Madeline rarely plays with them. Place the blame on the unsuspecting party who is not available to rush to their own defense.  What Ben should really say on a day like today is “Okay, you caught me. I was playing with Madeline’s princess dresses and left them strewn all over the floor.” Right.

Don’t falsely confess to anything. It sounds like more trouble than it’s worth. For instance, I would avoid the following statement: “Remember the time your car caught on fire? Yeah. That was me. You deserved it.”

While this could be a great post and worthy of my creative energy, I just don’t have it in me today. I’m off to say “hello” to 10 random people. (psych) Go Blue. (psych)

It’s a “Beautiful Day”

It’s a beautiful day.

I’m happy to say that it is very aesthetically pleasing here in the Denver Metro area. The sun is shining and the snow capped mountains are absolutely stunning against the bright blue sky. I love looking out the window and seeing them in all their majestic glory – even if I am looking at them from the seventh floor of Children’s Hospital.

I used to do a lot of hiking when I lived in Summit County. Once in a while I’d do a strenuous hike. Starting early in the morning, packing lunch for the summit, lots of sunscreen and water, layers of clothes… just me and nature. I miss those days. We, as a family, like to be outside. But a long, strenuous hike? Forget it! Instead of enjoying the journey there would be the incessant questions and demands of “Are we there yet?” or “I’m hungry”, or “I have to pee”, or worse yet, “I have to number two”. Grab some leaves, kids.

I miss the days of listening to the wind whisper through the trees instead of hearing beeping machines and children screaming out in pain. Smelling pine trees instead of antiseptics. Watching wildlife instead of helplessly watching my son fight cancer. Brushing pine needles off my bottom instead of stroking my son’s feverish head. Standing on top of a mountain with my face turned up to the heavens instead of shaking my fists at God. I miss the quiet and the calm. The serenity of no worries. Knowing that I could leave the summit at any time instead of being held captive by a beast set on destroying my son.

It’s a beautiful day. Even though my son just finished throwing up thanks to these wonderful chemo treatments he has to endure, he still has the energy to tell me he loves me or to joke with the nurses or talk about what we’re going to do after he’s finished here today.

We’re going to go out for ice cream. And then maybe we’ll play some video games. It’s a beautiful day.

It’s Button Day

Is this day about button collections? Or wearing clothes with buttons? Or wearing buttons as “pieces of flair”? Or belly buttons?

Actually, my step-sister doesn’t have a belly button. She was born with some things on the outside that should have been on the inside and in patching her up, the doctors had to “modify” her belly button. I know! I’ve got a story for everything.

As for my buttons, let’s see. Unlike my step-sister, I do have a functioning belly button, which only proves that I am a mammal who spent some time in utero. I’ve been known to sew on occasion but I don’t have a big collection of buttons. I have lots of button-up cardigans that I wear during the colder months (I’m wearing a blue one today). And I had a KILLER collection of Duran Duran buttons in high school. Buttons were my favorite accessory. After all, what were the accessory options in the 80’s? All we had available to us were the rubber bracelets (made famous by Madonna), oversized, metal-studded belts, slouchy socks, Swatch watches, anything neon or day-glo, fingerless gloves, rhinestone jewelry, anything with paint splatters, shirts emblazoned with “RELAX”, and bad perms held together with copious amounts of Aqua Net.

Since I didn’t really get into the clothes aspect (oh, okay, I had a shirt from Benetton) or the big hair (at least not until the late 80’s) I went with buttons. I would spend countless hours at the Record Connection on Hamilton Road going through piles of albums (before CD’s, of course) and their amazing collection of buttons. I had buttons of the band together, buttons of their album covers, buttons of the individual members, buttons with song lyrics, buttons, buttons, buttons. I spent a fair amount of time arranging said buttons on my jean jacket. It explains a lot about my poor academic performance. I can’t remember ever studying during my high school years (and certainly NEVER during study hall since I was too busy passing notes). But I do remember arranging and rearranging my buttons. Everyone’s gotta have a hobby.

Or maybe today is about pushing buttons? I certainly have a few of those. I don’t like to be called “red” (in reference to my hair). I don’t like what I call “condiment crud”. If you’re going to use the ketchup please clean around the top before recapping. And I can’t stand it when the car is turned off but the windshield wipers are left at half-mast. It doesn’t even have to be my vehicle. I can’t stand walking through the parking lot at, say,  Target and seeing wipers left at varying stages of usage. I know, I should just let it go.

We’re at the hospital today. Ben has already had school and is onto the “fun” part of the morning: playing his DS. He just made a new friend named James. James is nine and also has a DS. He is being treated for relapsed ALL (leukemia), has/had red hair and freckles, just like Ben. They seem to be having a great time.

Ben just came back to the room while James’ port had to be accessed. The nurse was having a hard time getting the needle to flush and despite all the “tricks” to manipulate the needle into the port it just wasn’t working. This is never fun for the kiddos, especially when it doesn’t work the first time. Ben came back to his room to give James some privacy. While he was here waiting for James to be finished, he said “I guess I can pray for him while I’m waiting.” I watched as his lips moved – the silent prayer being offered for his new best friend – and was just in awe of him. I have no words to express what I felt for him at that moment.

We’re almost done with today’s infusion. We’ll leave here, head to Burger King (Ben’s favorite!), pick up Madeline and head home to decorate the house for Matt’s birthday. He finally catches up with me today! 🙂 Happy Birthday, Matt!

More later. <3

I Love Ben

The kids and I fell asleep while watching “Elf” last night. We’d had a very long day at the University of Colorado for the “Dance to Make a Difference” event – the annual marathon that benefits the Children’s Miracle Network.  This was Ben’s second year attending. Ben and Madeline played all day with their sorority “escorts” and were pretty darn tired after all the running around, dancing, and bouncy house fun. It was a great day.

Anyway, we had fallen asleep downstairs. I woke up pinned up against the wall (Matt cleverly converted a twin mattress into a couch since the design of our house failed to allow actual furniture in the basement). I chose to take Ben upstairs to his bedroom first. As I was laying him down he said, “my pillow is missing”. I retrieved it from our bedroom and put it under his head. Then he asked, “Could I have some water?” I brought him some. Then he said, “I’m sorry I’m asking you for so much.” My heart stalled for a second before it melted. Could this kid be any sweeter? Then I said, “Ben, I’m your mom. It’s my job and I’m happy to do it.” Then I kissed his soft, bald head, laid his giant stuffed puppy dog on top of him, and said goodnight.

It’s snowing here. Ben was standing by the window this morning watching the maintenance person over at the school using the snow blower. He was marveling at how much snow was being thrown around and called his sister over to the window to take a look. “Wow!”, said his sister with wonder. “Boy,” Ben said, “I just hope he’s warm enough.” He is simply amazing.

Right now, he’s picking up Legos in his room (or at least he’s supposed to be) and I can hear him singing to himself. He’s not thinking about tomorrow, which is another chemo day for him, he’s thinking about NOW. When will I learn to follow his lead?

He’s worried about asking for too much. I’m worried that I won’t get enough.

It’s “Chicken Soup for the Soul” Day

Ah. Chicken soup. Comforting. Healing. Makes everything all better. I’ve never been a fan of it.

Of course, I have never had true homemade chicken soup. In fact, I can’t recall ever eating chicken until I was nearly an adult. It just wasn’t something we ever had for dinner – unless it was fried chicken – and I do not eat meat that still has a bone attached to it. *Shudder*. We eat a lot of chicken now (boneless, of course) but chicken soup just isn’t a part of my soul.

I used to spend a lot of time with my grandmother when I was a little girl. She grew up with hordes of brothers and sisters and, I’m sure, lots of farm animals. She told me that when she was a little girl it was her job to pluck the feathers off of the chickens after someone else had killed it. It was a vision I tried to push out of my mind. I’m pretty sensitive about animals in general, so I could never be one to raise my own food let alone kill it. I’m more of a “go to the grocery store and pick up some prepackaged, hormone-filled meat” kind of girl. Anyway, I cannot recall where we were or how old I was at the time, but I remember a chicken running around in the back yard. My grandma caught it and – before I could register anything -  had broken its neck. She put it on the ground and I watched as it wobbled around, trying to find its balance, with the head flopping to one side before finally falling over dead. I’m sure my jaw was hanging open. I clearly didn’t see that coming. Chicken was off the menu for me.

So what comforts me? Something has to take the place of chicken soup, right? Well, writing is soothing for me. I can lose myself in stories and memories. I try to purge stinging emotions by writing about them, which can be quite cathartic. Letting it go. Making room for new and improved memories. Sorting through old pictures can have a similar therapeutic quality as well.

My brother, Scotty, sent me a photo album yesterday. For those of you who can’t remember my family history (I can’t say that I blame you), Scotty is my half-brother since we share a father. We both call our dad “Uncle Dan” since he was never really much of a father to either one of us. Anyway, my brother and I are fairly close. Whenever we get on the phone with each other we’re on for hours because we just crack each other up. We can hold entire conversations based on movie quotes alone (last night we did “Steel Magnolias” in its entirety). It’s a defense mechanism, I’m sure.

So, Scotty sent me this photo album filled with pictures of me from when I was a baby. Evidently, Uncle Dan had given the album to Scotty a couple of years ago at a family member’s funeral, saying that he didn’t want the pictures anymore. There were some of my sister, Cassi, a few of my mom and dad together, some of my grandma and grandpa, and then a ton of me as a baby. I had never seen most of these pictures and had no idea they even existed. I was always under the impression that there just weren’t a lot of pictures of me as a baby… it was a stressful time. Uncle Dan went to Vietnam during my mom’s pregnancy with me but had returned home by the time I was born due to his multiple injuries.

Looking through the old photo books brought me comfort. Seeing pictures of my mom smiling and my grandma holding me and my sister playing… it was fun. As I continued to flip through the aging pages, I realized that there weren’t many of me with my dad. Finally, I found two pictures of the two of us. In one, I’m about 2 weeks old, asleep  in a baby seat. He’s sitting next to me on the front step, hand on the seat (not actually touching me) with a look of “what do I do now?” on his face. Then, the other picture is of me as a toddler, hanging onto his lap as he cleans a pistol.

And that pretty much sums up our relationship. My parents divorced when I was five. We saw each other over the years but ultimately, he knows nothing about me. The last time I physically saw him was in 1999 – at a funeral. We have no contact. He doesn’t know my children. I have no plans for him to know my children. He’s totally lame.

So, for him to give away a photo album filled with pictures of his daughter as an infant, well, that’s pretty telling of what sort of man he is. And what really makes me angry is that I am faced with losing my son – a life I so desperately want to watch unfold – watch him grow up and live his life, make mistakes, pursue happiness, do all that a normal, healthy person should get to do. And that poor man, the man we call Uncle Dan, chose to not know his kids at all. He has purged his life of all reminders that he had a daughter. It’s hard for me to not internalize that, but I just have to move forward knowing that I AM a good mom. I love my kids. I always will. And, if I happen to lose my sweet Ben, I will take comfort in knowing that he NEVER doubted my love for him. That he was the light of my life. The star on top of my Christmas tree. My purpose.

Who needs chicken soup when there’s love like that?

It’s Election Day

My mind swirls at the thought of politics and the general mayhem that goes along with it. I believe that we, as Americans, should vote for who we feel are the best leaders and solutions for the issues at hand, but I cannot keep up with the false promises, double negatives, and legalese that goes on in the political arena. My mind does not function that way (not to mention that I currently have no extra “brain space” left). The only thing I remember from my high school government class is the term “filibuster”, which is a form of obstruction in legislature. The rest of my knowledge of government is relegated to what I’ve learned from “School House Rock”. Don’t get me wrong, I care about my country and the issues we face as a nation. I vote. I just have other things on my mind right now.

Everybody has a cause – something that is near and dear to their hearts. Something they would fight for to the finish. A passion. I didn’t know what mine was until I had Ben and saw what he went through during this whole cancer gig. Prior to Ben, I had drifted through life not knowing why I was here on this earth. I used to believe that I was destined for something incredible given the challenges I’ve faced, so it’s been exhausting to muddle through so many failed relationships. So many emotional hurts. So many jobs that never left any sort of satisfaction or sense of accomplishment. Social work. HR. Retail. Hotel management. Non-profits. Nothing fit.

I still am not sure why I’ve had the life I’ve had but I know that my passion is my children and other children who go through life with extreme challenges. I identify with that. I know what that’s like. I didn’t go through cancer as a child, but I did have a different set of challenges that rivaled my sense of  worth and self-esteem. It’s followed me my whole life. And at times, it’s been debilitating. And what makes me angry is the simple fact that a lot of what happened to me could have been avoided. It wasn’t something that ‘struck’ me, like an illness, it was the actions – or the inaction – of others. I was treated as if I was expendable, similar to that of a red-shirted crew member from the Starship Enterprise. I mean, everyone knows that a Star Trek crew member wearing a red shirt was sure to be annihilated by an otherworldly monster once beamed down from the ship, right?

I’m not blaming “the system” or looking for reparations for my pain and suffering, I’m just sayin’. I wonder what I’d be like without all the insecurities? Without being in constant fear of rejection? Without being hypercritical of myself based on what others lead me to believe? Low self-esteem sucks. And logically, I know it’s all poppycock. But emotionally, I’m stunted.

Two nights ago, I was helping Ben get out of the shower. He’s so frail right now. He’s always been a little guy but with all his body is going through right now, it’s just adding to how tiny he looks. He still wears toddler clothes. Helping him out of the shower is no form of physical exertion because he’s so small.

He was giving me his silly grin that he offers whenever he’s in a good mood. I dried him off and started putting lotion on him. My hands wandered over each scar he’s received over the past five years. The most recent scars, of course, still an angry reddish-purple. The incision on his back snaking along the rib that had to be removed still feels like a ridge. My hand hovered over this spot as I tried to take it all away. I don’t know what I was aiming for, I just wanted it to be over. Technically, Ben is cancer-free right now. But he still has so far to go with more chemo, radiation, and antibody therapy. And all of the restrictions that were supposed to fall away this year, well, they were just rudely extended. My little boy. Riddled with scars and ouchies. Constant reminders to me – to him – to everyone – that a beast has been trying to kill him for years.

Overwhelmed with emotion and sadness I scooped Ben up and cradled him on my lap. He immediately responded and cuddled up against me. I rocked him. I imagine that most eight-year-old boys would not tolerate this action from their mother, but my Ben, he’s different. He’s wonderfully sensitive and loving. His heart has such an incredible capacity for love. And it was that same heart that guarded a newly growing tumor – a heart that almost hid the opposing mass from the scans. The cancer must know. It must know that his heart is so incredibly special – so full of love – that this is where the cancer tried to attack first when it decided to come back.

Ben snuggled up against me as I rocked. He was in a blissful state and enjoying the love while I was in an emotional pit of despair. Trying to hide the tears of anger. Of sadness. Of worry. Crying silently on his shoulder as he voiced his pleasure of being rocked. I pulled it together enough to take a look at his sweet face before placing my ear on his chest to listen to his heart. For whatever reason I had to hear his heart beating. After all, it was the very first thing I heard that confirmed there was a life growing inside of me. And hearing it now would reassure me that he was still alive. His rhythmic thumping soothed me and assured me that life was still in this child and would be for a while. And I held him tight as I continued to rock and sing him his favorite song, which brought so much pleasure to us both.

“Black bird, fly. Black bird, fly. Into the light of the dark, black night.”

That’s where we’re going, Bean. There is light in our dark, black night. And it’s my awesome destiny to help you through it. As long as I can lean down occasionally and listen to your beating heart. As long as I can stay beside you. We’ll fight it together. All I can do to protect that beautiful heart from stopping, well, that is my mission. My passion. My purpose.