I certainly didn't expect to be here again so soon. Niavete or wishful thinking, who knows, but one thing's for sure, I came with a bad attitude. A mixture of sadness, anger, guilt, and fear had me fighting back tears from the moment I read the thermometer last night.
Believe it or not, we don't always have major events planned, but this weekend we did. Faith was looking forward to a sleepover birthday party at one of her bff's tonight, Valentine's Night. Chandler, Kady and I were invited to a gourmet dinner party at our dear friends house for a group family Valentine's feast. Tomorrow, well, tomorrow is my 40th birthday. Hmmm. Chandler (honestly, Chandler and I) had planned a party to welcome my official old age status with friends and with style. The girls had a special evening planned for tomorrow. See, Wednesday morning, I got a call from Bridget at Hopekids. She was complimentary of my latest blog about Kady and wanted to share tickets to Saturday nights Demi Lovato concert...in a suite...with parking passes. Too good to pass up. Kady has a friend who is being teased at school for a rash she recently developed and could maybe use a special night out, so I reached out to her mom to help. She was planning to take my two girls and her daughter to enjoy the concert while we stayed home and hosted a small dinner party. Well, truthfully, Faith's counts were so low, that I'm not sure that she could have done any of it, but who knows.
So, last night at midnight when we brought Faith downstairs in preparation for our emergency trip to PCH and I looked over at the kitchen table to see the Valentine's baskets Chandler and I thoughtfully put out before we went to bed, I struggled to hold it together. I thought back to the busy day we'd had. I had gotten careless with lockdown protocol and taken Faith to Target, a doctors appointment, and lunch on day 11. I knew better than that! Faith, who rarely cries, was sobbing at the realization that her fun weekend was no more. Her tears were my responsibility and I was mad at myself and guilty for being so wreckless with her health. A fever is a big deal in a neutropenic kid. I remember when this first started the doc explaining to me that it's not usually cancer that kills, but the infection that results from a compromised immune system. Shit! I needed to hold it together for Faith.
By the time we got from the ER to the room it was 4am and we were exhausted. By the time we got settled, met with several 7th floor docs, switched nurses, and got to a point where the door wouldn't open every 5 minutes it was almost 9am so we went into cave mode and slept. When we woke up several hours later , it was like Christmas in pink! Quietly, while we slept, Valentine's balloons, cards, candy, etc had found their way to Faith. The pink shower contined all day with a party in the family room by Children's Cancer Network and people dropping off gifts, nice gifts, like a beautiful Silpada necklace, tee shirt and blingy cup from Hopekids. Kelly even snuck in a little Valentine's Vino for happy hour. It was hard to maintain a poor outlook when there was so much good around us. That's just not us, either. We aren't mopers, we're the Moore's!
Plan B. Chandler and Kady went on the Valentine's date and Faith and I hung out at the hospital and to watch a chick flick. Not bad. We cancelled the party. I'll go to the concert with Kady, Tatum and Linda and Chandler will stay here Saturday night. We will pray Faith comes home Sunday. So far, she has been fever free since early Friday morning.
So, this is not the way I expected to celebrate my 40th birthday. Ironically, Faith was sick on my 30th birthday and Chandler was out of town. Not really what I expected back then. Turning 40 is not what I expected either. In my mid-thirties I had planned a big party for this day. I had a facility in mind that I wanted to rent out to throw a bash big enough to celebrate what I though back then was a big deal. Turns out, as I got closer to 40, it became less and less significant. I'm sure Faith's illness has impacted my outlook, but I think it's more than that. I've changed. I really do feel more at peace within myself.
My 20's were fun! I was 24 when we got married and Chandler and I agreed to wait 3 years on starting a family. Good decision! We had a boat and used it. We took trips, some impromptu ones. We lived and loved our life, as people in their 20's should. In our 20's we really didn't worry about much of anything. My 30's were a decade of lessons, some harder than others. Having kids brings about a whole slew of lessons. Babies, and the resulting toddlers and children, are cute and fun and true blessings, for sure, BUT, they are also stressful. You don't know what you're doing half the time, always a little afraid you're screwing it up. I have spent a lot of time and energy in my 30's stressing about my weight and my appearance. I learned a lot about friendship in my 30's. I drifted away from my college friends, a decision I will always regret, but I'm working on rebuilding that now. I also had a painful lesson that resulted in the loss of a close friendship that took years for me to get over. From that, I now take into my 40's a true understanding that I cannot control how other people feel and act. I also am really, truly, finally ok with the fact that not everyone likes me. Life isn't a popularity contest. I don't want to waste precious time spinning my wheels and fretting over the handful of unhappy when there are so many things, so many relationships to be grateful for and to celebrate. I have a wonderful, diverse circle of friends that I know love me. This particular year I have not been able to be the friend I want to be to them, but I don't have as much to give this year as I will in coming years. Hopefully, we can take turns and I can be the kind of friend to them that they have been to me this year. Going into my 40's, I know my family loves me even though I am a real brat sometimes. And, I KNOW my husband loves me. We are best friends, we laugh together, we sneak little moments together, and we trust each other. I know this much, too. I am a good mom. I didn't start out that way, but I am striving to become better. I know that I am not perfect. Honestly, I don't really want to be perfect, perfect is boring. I'm still working on the weight thing. Some days I care less than others. By care, I mean accept. I eat reasonably well, I exercise a reasonable amount of time. Perhaps one day I'll reach my goal, but my biggest goal with my appearance is to pass along to my daughters some sort of self-love. I don't want them to think that it's alright to put so much emphasis on their physical appearance. I'm hoping to accomplish that by 50...hey, like I said, I'm not perfect! So, bring on my 40's. I'm not scared. Honestly, I'm not thrilled either. I regarded my parents as old when they turned 40. I am dubbing my 40's the decade of acceptance, until I change my mind. They are only just here now and the best part has always been that the chapter has not yet been written.