It’s “Clams on the Half-Shell” Day

Gross. NOT a fan of clams. In fact, not really a fan of any seafood. I’ll eat shrimp on occasion, but that’s about it. I prefer my seafood in its natural state – under water and still alive. And I don’t mean viewing them in the tank at my local grocery store. I’m talking about me wearing a wet suit and flippers, tank strapped to my back and breathing apparatus in place, mask that I’ve cleaned with a loogey (the only time I am willing to produce a loogey). Perhaps a knife sheathed and attached to my thigh to ward off menacing sharks? Okay, so I’m not THAT hot in my diving gear.

Actually, I haven’t been diving since Ben was born. But the year before he was born I spent 10 days in Grand Cayman and the majority of it was spent underwater. It was incredible. I saw lobster nearly as big as me. Sea turtles peacefully paddling through the depths of the ocean. Menacing barracuda staring me down (not so fond of that). Crabs. Moray eels. Stingray. Barrels of coral that I could fit in (but didn’t try so as not to destroy the delicate seascape). It was beautiful.

That life seems so long ago. I would love to dive again someday but it just doesn’t seem reasonable. It’s very expensive. Mandates travel to exotic locations (since I’m not interested in lake diving). And with Ben in active treatment for the next few years, I think I’m going to have to put my dream of diving away. It can’t even go on a back burner. It has to come off the stove completely. Oh well.

I have to say, though, that when I get completely stressed out and need to take a mental break, this is where I go. Under the sea. Every inch of me surrounded by water. The sensation of gliding effortlessly through the ocean. The only sound I hear is my intense breathing. Feeling so small. Enveloped by something so vast. Free, yet being held captive within its depths. Simple, yet complex. I guess that’s me in a nutshell. Or should I say clamshell?

Honestly though, my clamshell is at capacity right now. There’s no more room. I need to get an appointment for a mammogram and ultrasound done before the weekend (Doctor suspects fibroids – thanks to stress – but wants to be sure it’s not anything worse than that). Ben must have two cavities filled before the weekend. Friday he goes to a radiation follow up. Saturday is Madeline’s birthday and she’s having her party at Sweet and Sassy (a fun little girly spa). I need to make eight crystal tiaras before then, as well as get the cake made (I LOVE cake decorating – so it’s bound to be beautiful!) šŸ˜‰ and get the little take-home boxes done. Then Sunday is Easter. I gotta squeeze egg-dying in here somewhere. And laundry, since we leave for New York on Monday for an indefinite amount of time. I have no idea how long it will take Ben to recover from his surgery and if they’re planning to do that big round of chemo in New York or willing to wait until we’re back in Colorado. We could be there for a good long while.

Add to that one of our little friends is not doing well. I don’t have all the details yet but from preliminary information, she’s been told she has 4-8 weeks left of her young life. My sweet Lord. I can’t even begin to process this. We just saw her at the hospital and she looked beautiful. I had no idea that her tumor wasn’t responding to treatment. I just didn’t know. And I feel like sh*t that I wasn’t more supportive. Sorry for the swear. There’s just no word that explains how bad this all sucks.

And our stupid cat hopped a ride to Boulder yesterday. I’m not sure if she was just curious or if she was trying to escape the stress here, but she jumped in the back of a van belonging to a very sweet person delivering food to us. About an hour later I received a phone call from the nice lady asking if my cat was missing. I wasn’t home so I wasn’t sure if it was mine or not. After a description and confirmation that the cat was, indeed, mine, the nice people brought her back. She rode all the way to Boulder (about an hour from here) without making a single noise. At least she’s back now and currently enjoying the luxury of a freshly made bed. If she was looking for a better life I’m sure she’ll eventually scratch my eyes out for holding her captive in this crazy clamshell.

With all that’s going on my stress level is off the charts. I take comfort wherever I can find it. But right now, there’s just too much to think about. It all feels like the end of the song “A Day in the Life” by the Beatles. The orchestral crescendos building to that final sustained piano chord at the end of the song feels a lot like my brain does right now. Building, building, building only to explode on that last note.

In fact, I said to Madeline last night, “I think I’m going to explode” to which her reply was, “I will miss you.”

And as I close my eyes and drift off to my underwater world of peace I try to find my battle scarred clamshell to hide in for a while, until I morph into a happy shiny pearl.

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  1. Time for several bags of chips and a whole lotta dip. Pack some! Praying for you. Love Toni

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