Grief is a funny thing. Rather, it is a maddening process that makes no sense, hurts like hell and at the same time is a source of great relief. It also gets to sneak up and mess with you when you can’t see it coming. This week I was enjoying lunch with a friend when suddenly I was sobbing. The reality that I hate being sick, because I’m worried I will miss Claire’s last smile, laugh, breathe hit me like a freight train.
After clearing the tears and snot from my face we laughed at how annoying grief. Thankfully my friend is some sort of grieving badass ninja lady, she said the perfect thing and then stole the pineapple off my plate.
It’s weird to be living and so fragile. Each day is incredibly remarkable and terrifying. Today was going well. I cleaned the fish bowl and went to the doctor. My chest xrays came back clean, I let the girls watch tv for a bit after school just for fun. Then we took Claire to Kid Quest, our fabulous respit facility. A place that she feels so comfortable that as we got inside, before we got out of the doorway, her brain seized, hers limbs shook and her face turned to ash. We moved her to the couch to lay on her side. While I managed the ice pack, her aide stroked her hair and spoke softly to her and Chloe sang their special sister version of “You are My Sunshine”. I sat and watched Chloe and her concern for her sister and wished I could make it all go away, but I couldn’t.
Claire was nearly stable and we decided to go, she was in good hands. I had planned to take Chloe to Starbucks for a fun little treat just the two of us. It was busy but the line was short. I coached Chloe on making a choice but when the time came to order she wasn’t ready. Tears streamed down her face as I paid. I don’t know if it was shock from what had just happened with Claire or just the fact that she’s 6, but with quivery lips she kept saying she was sorry. I knew we would talk it out and get back in line, the least I could do for my guilt of exposing her to such a traumatic life was give her something sweet to eat.
In the time that we talked, the line grew to the door, still we walked to the end. That’s where we were met by the lady that was behind us. She watched the scene unfold and purchased the marble loaf that Chloe had been eyeing. She handed it to me and smiled. I hope I said thank you, I just remember my throat swelling and trying to hold back the tears. It was a small gesture but it restored me in a way that I can’t describe.
We got out to the car before it occurred to me to check if I had cash to pay the lady back, of course I didn’t. So if by any chance, you are the kind human that gifted us the pastry at Starbucks on Mount Hermon Dr. THANK YOU. I can’t say enough how deeply you encouraged me. To everyone else, be nice. Man life is crazy and you never know what is behind the smile of the person next to you. It doesn’t take a lot to be nice but it can make all the difference in the world.