Thursday, November 1, 2007

Looking ahead a bit

Now that Halloween is over, and we are into November, the thought of Thanksgiving arises. Thanksgiving is a significant holiday in our family. David was born on Nov. 21, my mom on Nov. 22, and we love Thanksgiving itself. We have a tradition of spending the holiday in Palm Desert with my parents. The kids have always loved this; they look forward to every detail of the trip, from the airplane ride to the car trip from the PS airport to the condo, sticking their noses out of the car windows and sniffing the air with joy like a couple of puppies. They made deals about who sat in the seat by the window on the flight down and who sat there on the way home. I always had a surprise for each of them to open in the airport, to help make the plane trip more interesting. They would race from the car when we pulled into Mom & Dad's driveway, to greet their waiting grandparents. They have their favorite restaurants, shops, attractions and sports; reading the paper with Kappa first thing in the morning, breakfast and walks with Grandma and Kappa, tennis lessons, swimming, riding in the golf cart, making friends with other kids, pasta night, barbecuing dinner, wearing shorts in November!

Last year, we were at Ronald McDonald House for Thanksgiving. My family joined us, and we were all treated to a wonderful dinner with roasted turkey and all of the trimmings (prepared by a modern-day saint named Bob Leoung and his friends). We enjoyed it as best we could under the circumstances, since Katie couldn't participate. The smell of food and the crowd just made her nauseous.

David is counting the days until we get to go to the desert. I find myself really ambivalent about the entire thing. First, I had to cancel Katie's airline ticket (actually, Caroline did this for me; thank you, Cara). Now I am thinking about what it will be like to get up in the morning without Katie there; she would be reading the comics in the morning paper, while Kappa got into politics or the stock market, and David read the weather maps. She would be eating at the breakfast bar with David. She would be putting on her swimsuit, but spending most of her time in the hot tub, not the pool. She would be dressing up for dinner out, or anticipating shopping on El Paseo. I will never get to take her to the spa. We had been looking forward to sharing this, and I promised to take her as soon as she was old enough, but they don't allow people under the age of 18. Massage, pedicure, spa lunch, facials...all of the girly things that she loved...no. This is painful, and it is what lies in wait for us.
I have a recurring feeling that we have left Katie behind, as if I am like the ditzy woman in the cartoon who yells, "I think I left the baby on the bus!" It is like a living nightmare. Yet I know from my 48+ years of living that in order to survive in this world, I have to accept what is in front of me and take the next step. That step might be reading, praying, walking, waiting peacefully at home a great deal of the time; it might be attending a wedding, celebrating a baby's progress or a friend's clean bill of health; perhaps it involves doing the laundry, the shopping, the cooking...or packing for a trip to a familiar place, in totally unfamiliar emotional territory.

2 comments:

Nan Lofas said...

That will be a hard trip. Know that I'll be holding your hand from the sidelines.

Praying for strength and courage,

Nan xx

Marnie said...

You write very well.