In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Over The Freeway and Down The Road

When I was little, I loved the romantic notion of the song, "Over the River and Through the Woods."  I remember reading over and over again an illustrated book with the same title.  On one page, there was a picture of a little girl looking out her front window at a horsedrawn sleigh surrounded by beautiful snowy woods.  I remember running to my front window hoping for a snowy Christmas miracle, but finding instead that same old block wall surrounded by several cacti.  No "white and drifted snow."  No "dapple gray."  No river.

I was also quite enamored with the idea of going to Grandma's house for "fun," "pudding" and "pumpkin pie."  But my Grandmas lived in Michigan and New Jersey.   I lived in Phoenix.  A horse drawn sleigh, or even a car was not going to get us there.  A plane, maybe, but there were five of us.

 In fact, we rarely, if ever, visited family or had family visit for the holidays.  It was just us, and especially when you are a child, "just us" can be boring, and lonely.  Most of my cousins would  gather at my Grandma's house in Michigan and play games of Rummi-Cube, Canasta, and Michigan Rummy.   Later (or so the legend goes) they would sit down to a football game and some pumpkin pie.  I remember feeling quite jealous.  Two years after my Grandma's death, I am still jealous.  Who cares about the snow.  I missed out on HER.

My four-year-old asks me every day if it is fall.  And I know what he is thinking.  "Where are the leaves?!"  "Where is the cold weather?" Because you see, I am once again living in Phoenix, and it is still full of cacti, and still-green leaves.  There is no wind biting our nose or stinging our toes.  There is still no snow. And perhaps those are actually good things, because the weather is actually quite beautiful.  But Phoenix does lack the romance of having four seasons, and it doesn't  fit the "fall" depicted on TV.  So the holidays involve a little imagination.  Finding colorful leaves and drifted snow involves hours of driving.

But for Christmas there will be both Grandmas (and Grandpas)! and there will be pie (I'm hoping cherry?),  and there will be fun!  There will not however, be any pudding...  I decided, after living in California for 11 years, that I want my kids to be near their Grandparents.  I want to at least be able to drive over the freeway and down the road to Grandma and Grandpa's house.  That part of the song is too important to miss.  They are too important to miss, and the cacti is actually quite nice.

John with his mom (and Andrew) and the cacti

My parents

 Lyrics to Over The River And Through The Woods :

Over the river and through the woods
To Grandmother's house we go.
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
Through white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the woods,
Oh, how the wind does blow.
It stings the toes and bites the nose
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the woods
To have a full day of play.
Oh, hear the bells ringing ting-a-ling-ling,
For it is Christmas Day.

Over the river and through the woods,
Trot fast my dapple gray;
Spring o'er the ground just iike a hound,
For this is Christmas Day.

Over the river and through the woods
And straight through the barnyard gate.
It seems that we go so dreadfully slow;
It is so hard to wait.

Over the river and through the woods,
Now Grandma's cap I spy.
Hurrah for fun; the pudding's done;
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie.

[ Over The River And Through The Woods Lyrics on ]

1 comment:

  1. Loved this! I had no idea you felt so left out of family stuff. I totally hear you. Having family clear across the country and hearing about all the fun stuff is no fun. So glad your boys won't miss out on any of the fun grandma and grandpa stuff. (And do I ever envy you Phoenix! I'll take year around sun any day! That's why God invented tvs and books--look at the fall leaves, they're really not that impressive in person. Bah!) ;)


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