Tuesday evening, we sat downstairs in the Sean White room watching 4 very good friends play games together. You would never know that these friendships had been formed by such horrible circumstances. Not by the way these kids were laughing and carrying on. I sat with a dear friend, who if it weren't for this experience, I wouldn't know. On one hand there was a peaceful calm that came over me. At the same time, I felt such a heavy tug at my heart. I felt for so long that our time in Memphis would never ever end and there it was, our final night at the Target House. I tried to take in every detail of the room and was just so overcome with appreciation for this incredible place that became our second home to us for 8 months.
Wednesday, July 4th. Time to go home. Only, I had no idea how emotional this day would be for me. Driving down Poplar and leaving the security of the gate filled me with so many different emotions. It was unlike anything I can describe. Acceptance, anger, anticipation, happiness, fear, sadness, surprise, hope, wonder, sorrow, desire, anxiety, expectancy, panic. It was very overwhelming and I pretty much just sobbed the whole way to the airport. As always, Denny was there to comfort me and somehow found all of the right words I needed to hear to allow me the strength to get through yet another really tough day. Once we boarded the plane, it was full speed ahead. No time to look back and wonder what our futures would hold. Not with a happy 4 year old tugging my arm all along the way.
Anthony was his normal happy-go-lucky wonderful self. The easiest traveler ever. My partner in crime. He had a blast on the plane and my only complaint was that during the first plane ride to Dallas we were experiencing some pretty bumpy turbulence. Anthony has no concept to my fear of air turbulence and explained in great detail how that meant the plane was about to fall from the sky and crash. Luckily it didn't. When we first arrived at the airport in Memphis, security asked him what his name was. Of course, this is a safety precaution to make sure he is in fact supposed to be boarding a plane with me. And of course, Anthony replied with, "Hulk". When the security guard asked a bit more sternly, "I really need to know your name". Anthony stomped his foot, looked him square in the eye and yelled out to the crowd that was now watching, "I said, I AM THE HULK". I just looked at the guy and said, "Look, he's not going to budge. Sorry." And off we went.........
To make an already incredible and emotional day even more amazing.... Anthony had the surprise greeting from his girlfriend, Amanda!
Once the house was quiet, I sat on my couch and just took it all in. For hours. The quiet hum of the air bubbles in our fish tank. The grooves in our textured ceiling. The fact that all of our windows were open. The feel of the cool fog rolling in and cooling the house down as only the bay area fog can do. Sleeping in my own bead was the closest thing to a slice of heaven that you can even imagine. For the first time in what seems like a lifetime, I woke up without my back aching. I was so excited I couldn't keep sleeping though. Somehow, 4 hours of sleep seemed like enough. Being home was that sweet!
Today was a very emotional day. With each article of clothing I unpacked, it unleashed a new fear. The worst was bringing the suitcases back up to the garage. It was like ripping a band-aid off. I threw them in very fast. I can't keep going to the what-if's. It's not good. I am determined to try and just accept what has been dealt to us. Live in the now. Not plan too far in advance. Day by day. Soon, once my family is reunited and we have a chance to process all of this, I will begin to think about work again. I just need to see my kids home playing. I need to see Kayla start to thrive again. Right now it's just way to painful. Way too raw. Adrenaline has carried me this far and I am aware at how very fragile I am. I know I will get through it. Somehow our human bodies and minds are incredible that way. I will continue to surround myself with positive people and energy and deflect all negative waves. I was tested tonight. By someone I would have never thought I would be tested by. I have learned that I am a lot stronger then I actually give myself credit for. I am not going to give into the toxic conversations that once would have consumed me with such inner emotional warfare. I refuse to give even a small part of what precious energy I have into trying to hold someone else up. So, I wont. Control is something that has been ripped from me. I am going to take it back one tiny thread at a time until I begin to feel whole again. It will be my new normal. It will have to do.
Today Kayla's central line was removed. I will go into more details on that soon. I am too exhausted tonight. Tomorrow, my other half will join us here at home. I am sure a whole new wave of emotions will hit me, but I am not scared. Denny will be here to hold me up the second I begin to slump. I look so forward to watching Kayla and Meow-Meow cuddling. I can't wait to see her joy tomorrow. That will make the world seem a little more right again. Now the healing can truly begin.......