a thousand more nights

Last night, long after putting the girls to bed, I went trolling through Facebook, looking to see what the people in my world were up to.

Many were still celebrating the Patriot’s win. Some were railing against the hypocrisy of Newt Gingrich’s stand on .. well, everything, Some were posting various articles discussing and dissecting the proposed changes to the DSM-V.

And then there was something else entirely.

A friend had posted a link to THIS.

Please click on the link above and read the post before continuing. Nothing that follows has meaning without it. 

I don’t know Susan, though I was honored to be nominated for the Bloganthropy award with her last year – an award that she ultimately, and very deservedly won.

As I read her beautiful, poignant post, tears streaming down my face, a little person came barging into my room. There was an obvious sense of purpose in her stride. She was agitated – on a mission.

I wiped my face clean and looked up at her.

“What’s up, sweetheart?” I asked.

“Betty Lou is lost!” she said, her little brow furrowed with worry. “I need to find her.”

“Well then let’s go, little one,” I said. I picked her up and carried her back to her room. Nearly nine but not yet fifty pounds, I still have the luxury of carrying her.

“I love you so much, my sweet baby,” I whispered in her ear, “So very much.”

And on that short walk across the hall it hit me full force. Just what a blessing – what a privilege it is to be here. To do the stuff that drives me crazy. To search for a lost stuffed animal in the middle of the night. To carry my girl. To tell her that I love her. 

We went into her room and began the Search Protocol. I stripped the bed, one layer at a time. I placed everything on the floor – then searched under, over, on top, on the bottom, from side to side. All the while, Brooke was curled into a ball on her floor. “I feel worried about her,” she said plaintively. “I miss her SO much!” she added for emphasis.

I finally spotted little Betty Lou just far enough under the bed that we’d have to move it. Luau came to the door just in time, wondering what was going on. He picked up the bed, canopy and all, and slid it over just enough so that I could grab the doll. I reached down, retrieved her and handed her to Brooke.

Brooke grabbed her as though she’d been away at war. She hugged her and rocked her and kissed her head. She declared her love for her. She had me hug her too.

I tucked them in together, kissed them both and walked away feeling like I’d won the lottery.

Susan, you have inspired so many with your strength, your faith and your love. I wish you no less than a thousand more nights getting your ass out of bed to find a damn stuffed animal.

You are, and will always be, in my prayers. 

21 thoughts on “a thousand more nights

  1. I read her blog last night. I hope the same for her. Life is fragile, precious, and too short. Not one moment should ever be taken for granted. I wish Susan and her family so many things but especially more time together.

  2. Thank you, Jess, for your post and for your link to Susan’s post.

    Really admire her courage through it all and like that she is still trying her best to have a strong attitude even as Hospice is getting ready to come.
    Very timely, too, as I also need to remember to keep positive through it all, despite the many treatments, surgeries, and procedures that are waiting for me to tackle.

    I love that she has a line in her header called “the joy of life after cancer”…as when they first utter that hideous word and then, your own name in the same sentence, you do not initially feel joy…you feel lots of emotions but not joy at that moment…

    Was up just pondering the sheer volume of papers, the whole process of trying to line up appointments and getting second and third opinions, and the cost of it all so reading your post and then, reading her post brought me back to remembering to not give up and to keep a sense of humor even until the very end.

    What an inspiration she is…thanks for introducing me to her blog, as I look forward to reading it thoroughly to see what strength and hopefulness I can glean from her day-to-day.

    Thanks for sharing. Prayers to Susan and her family, too!


  3. Thanks so much for sharing. Such timing, too. Yesterday as I tucked little RM, who seems not so little any more, into her bed I thought – wow – how did we get so lucky (blessed) to have her here today after all of those scary nights when we thought she was leaving us? And I cried buckets. Of joy.

    EVERY DAY is a gift. I treasure every moment. Every poopy diaper five and a half years later. I treasure autism. I treasure her singing ‘the wheels on the bus’. I treasure it all.

    I treasure you, too. For without those struggles, without the pain it took to get here, I wouldn’t have you or this amazing community.

    Love you so much.

    Thank you.

  4. Susan’s blog certainly does put every life into perspective. She’s incredibly brave. I have no other words.

    I love you,

  5. There is ALWAYS someone who struggles more, there is ALWAYS someone who will wish they were in your shoes, even when you want to throw those shoes away!! We need to remember that, and count ourselves blessed and lucky to have our health and the ability to take care of our little ones and enjoy the hectic and sometimes harrowing days as well as the good ones! Thanks for reminding me. My prayers go out to Susan and her family.

  6. I too cried reading her blog last night. I’ve been hoping against hope since the day she first said that her breast looked like an orange peel (putting my lactation consultant hat on for a moment here – ladies, PLEASE, if anything looks odd, looks different, please PLEASE get it checked, don’t wait) that she would get her miracle, that the day would never come that she’d be talking about hospice and palliative care, that she’d still be writing about her grandchildren saying “but WHY grandma?”. And yet even in all her pain, and it must be debilitating, she’s still doing her damndest to be present in her life and in the lives of all those she touches.

    Susan is an inspiration to us all, not just for her bravery in the face of this terrible disease but also each and every day, as a mother just doing the very best she can for her family.

  7. tears. My sister is a survivor of breast cancer. I have another sister who died of cancer. As well as Aunts, and cousins, who lost the fight. This hit VERY close to home. And I wish Susan the same. And every Mom out there fighting this brave and exhausting battle, And I am reminded to be so thankful….for wiping tears and giving high 5’s for going on the potty. For getting up in the middle of the night to give a bottle. For walking a baby around the house in circles until she sleeps. For watching my beautiful girl run and play in the snow….

  8. Thanks for the perspective. We had a frustrating weekend with all our kids and by Sunday I was trying desperately to remember that one day we would miss the noise; there are people who would give anything for a house full of kids; too many would give ANYTHING for a child/loved one taken too soon. Thanks again.

  9. You have won the lottery. Remember, “There but for the grace of god go I”….You are loved and you have those who you can love in return…always, always.

  10. Pingback: 10 Things I Think « Between Hope and a Hard Place

  11. Oh this post so hit home with me. Sometimes we are so busy wishing/praying/planning for things to be different that we don’t appreciate our own ‘flawed’, beautiful reality. Then a reminder like this comes along. Peace and blessings to Susan….

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