October 30, 2008
What would you do, if you had risen at 5:00 a.m., driven three hours (mostly in rush hour traffic), sat for another four hours in a hospital waiting room with nothing to eat or drink since the night before, had a doctor sedate you and drill core samples with a corkscrew shaped needle from both of your hips, and driven another two and a half hours home?
Go to the Chamber of Commerce Candidates Forum?
That was Erin's choice last Monday evening, even knowing that she would have to climb back in the van a few hours later for another drive into Houston, so she could face another long clinic wait and the unknown of an experimental IV chemo infusion.
You've heard me say it before, but what Congressman has ever made a child smile more than Chet Edwards (TX-17) has? What Congressman would choose to spend all day the Saturday before election day with a non-voter (Erin will attend lunch and the Aggie game with Chet on Saturday)?
It's hard to tell exactly how Erin is doing these days. I usually have a pretty subtle insight based on her demeanor and outlook. Right now there's a lot of noise interfering with a true read. She still has allergy symptoms, especially when she first wakes up. She hasn't recovered completely from her bone marrow aspirations. The ten plus hours in the car on Monday and Tuesday have added to her general stiffness. The dexamethasone makes her hungry and accentuates the negative aspects of her personality. Her back hurts (although not really in THE SPOT that always raises alarms). Mainly, she's tired and a bit grumpy.
But not tired enough to fore go her concession stand duties at family fun night at Jane Long when we got back from Houston on Tuesday. . .or school the rest of the week. . .or piano lessons on Wednesday. . .or pumpkin carving last Sunday. . .or a fall festival party with Jackson and the Rosses last Saturday night. Last night alone, she made final preparations for her role in her science class debate over drilling in the Alaskan natural Wildlife Refuge, practiced her speech for her Day of the Dead project in Spanish, and added the final touches to her 3-D Invent-Your-Own-Continent project for social studies. Nor is she planning on missing Halloween festivities at the church, trick or treating, nor the haunted house at the ice rink tomorrow. And just try and keep her home from seeing the Aggies on Saturday.
Most of you probably have your hand on the receiver, poised to dial Child Protective Services. You think, here's a mom who knows that her child is tired and hurting and yet she continues to ride her hard and puts her up wet. Let me tell you that in all these choices, Erin rules the roost. If she want to stay home, she stays home; if she wants to make an appearance, she makes an appearance; if she wants to go, she goes. I'm just her vehicle. She still has things she wishes she could do, but can't right now. Most painfully, she is still sidelined from soccer, but aching to get back into the game.
I wish I could bottle her determination. It certainly inspires me. It probably does the same for you.
[cue swelling background music]
If you are inspired but don't know how to channel that feeling, here are two suggestions:
1. Go clean out a closet, or your garage, or the attic, or your storage shed. Find something that you don't use anymore, but that has plenty of good life left in it. Donate it to our garage sale. You can bring the things you find to me any time in the next eight days (before Friday, November 7 at 5:00). If you have a good friend or two, ask them to do the same. If, heaven forbid, you love to shop garage sales, drop by 200 Bernburg Lane in College Station a week from Saturday and buy your stuff (or someone else's stuff) back.
2. Make yourself a cup of tea or grab yourself a cold one. Get out your checkbook or click on this link to Lunch for Life (all proceeds go to support neuroblastoma research through the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation). Enjoy your beverage and make a donation (checks should go to Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation/39651 Treasury Center/Chicago, IL 60694-9600).