Update: Feb 13, 2017
On Saturday, I took the girls to Kingston to run a few errands, as I’ve done hundreds of times over the years. We only went to Mother Earth’s and Michael’s (to get new paintbrushes for Emily) and I gave Ana a Zofran way before we left so she wouldn’t get carsick. Lately, riding in the car has been awful – she gets so nauseous that she can barely lift her head.
The nausea was pretty well controlled for the ride, but Ana’s energy level was really low (even though she’d slept until 2 p.m. and we left around 3). She had to sit down after walking from the car to the health food store. When we got to Michael’s, she was able to walk around the store for a few minutes with us, she was tired and out of breath. She looked ready to collapse. I ended up taking her back to the car to wait while Emily shopped.
It was clear, in that moment, just how sick Ana has become. When I went back into Michael’s to shop with Emily, I felt like crying. We’ve been going to Michael’s forever – since the days of Play-Doh and Crayola. We would get bubbles and sidewalk chalk in spring and summer, and craft supplies in autumn and winter. Paint, canvas, coloring books, clay, stickers, yarn, colored pencils, sketch books, beads, silk flowers…you name it, we’ve purchased too much of it at Michael’s.
I know they’re growing out of these trips before I’m ready to let them. I know. But still, I drag them there and walk through the aisles, remembering how they used to agonize about what stickers to get or what color FIMO clay. I know that I’m happier to go there than they are these days (Emily would rather go to an art supply store for her supplies), but it hurt so much having to walk Ana back to the car without her buying or looking at one single thing. Emily saw it in my face. I didn’t even have to say a word. She asked me not to be sad because it makes her sad too, so I swallowed it all back down and let her pick out as many brushes as she wanted.
Then we went home and I told Jim what happened, how things are shifting so quickly, how it’s very possible that Ana may not have good weeks and bad weeks anymore, but good hours…good minutes…good moments. I keep thinking she’s going to get better, as though this is just another glitch, another bad day that will fade away.
I tell myself not to dwell on the future, to sit in each moment and be fully present and sometimes I succeed. Like when the girls stretched out on their Yogibos and played video games for a few hours (with Roo jumping around in between them). I snapped a picture of this without them knowing…
But sometimes it’s unbearable to live in the moment because the moment can be excruciating – when the present reminds me of the past, it’s hard. When I see something that makes it clear how little time Ana has left, it’s hard. When I think about a future without Ana, that all I’ll have are memories and the unfulfilled potential of her life, it’s impossible. Those are the times when I hate the moment I’m in.