I had learned about the serious nature of Sharon’s illness on Sunday evening. My immediate reaction was to want to pack up and fly to her hometown, but Daddy J was at band practice and I was on lil bun duty, so I dazedly got him ready for bed in between talking on the phone and messaging on Facebook.

He got to bed really late for him (after 9:00) which I guess isn’t so terrible considering the time change, but still. Daddy J got home soon thereafter and we started to look at flights.

And then realized that I should probably check in with her husband and/or family before I just arrived and expected to see her. I sent some more messages and went to bed, hoping there would at least be weeks or days left in her life.

I normally take Rainbow to his Discovery Center class on Mondays, but I bagged it yesterday. I was fretful and anxious, and Daddy J very correctly pointed out that I didn’t need any sort of negative experience if I could avoid it. (Last week Rainbow… did not enjoy class.) I had scheduled his doctor appointment at 10:45 so we could go after class, so we had a morning at home and then went for his 2 year checkup.

Suprisingly, As usual, I had to wait a good forty-five minutes before I got called back to the exam room, and then another good twenty minutes before I saw the doctor. Also as usual, I debated whether it’s worth it to keep driving half an hour to get there when there are probably docs closer that I would also like.

BUT, I end up sticking with it because I really like this doctor a lot, and, equally important, the big boys really like him a lot.

The waiting room’s nice, too. Rainbow had a PARTY in there. He was so dang cute, just cracking up and playing with other little kids. It was so sweet to hear other mamas commenting things like, “What a happy little boy,” and “Listen to that laugh!” What a little honey.

His tune abruptly changed when we got called back. The tears and vehement protests began even before we made it to the room. He was blowing kisses at all the nurses and doctors, trying to make them GO AWAY or else effect his own escape.

We made it, though, and I could almost hear everything Dr. Tim said over Rainbow’s wails. Rainbow is healthy as a little horse and smart as a whip.


They did check for anemia, which I am slightly concerned about since he won’t really eat meat. He’s also not a veggie fan, at all. It’s kind of down to bananas, cut-up purple grapes, and bits of dried fruit. Also whole fruit spread on his yogurt and wheat germ.

But really, he’s just bursting with health and vigor, so I’m not worried too terribly much. I do think I’ll get some vitamins for him, though. He’s my first who’s not a veggie eater at this age, but I wonder if he’s just prioritizing his food intake for the mass building selections, like dairy stuff. Apparently there’s a lot of mass in his future.

He weighs 34 pounds and 13 ounces and is 38 inches long.

A big boy. Dr. Tim said that at this age we could double his height to estimate his adult height, so that would put him at 6’4″. Dr. Tim emphasized that he would be a BIG, tall man. Just big all around. Which is awesome.


We left and drove to Goonie’s house. I had his essential gear in the car since he was spending the night, so Rainbow had a pleasant ride, gazing out the window with Binky in his mouth and Puppy’s ear between his fingers.

I went from Goonie’s house to the town nearest her to get some things for Sharon’s little girls. I wasn’t sure if I’d pack them to take when I visited or send them that day, but I wanted to get treat bags together for both of them. Cousin N gave me a couple of pink belly dancing scarves, which I think they will flip out over, based on how the little girls at craft fair loved them. I went to Sally Beauty and Hastings for treats to add to the scarves.

I do this thing when confronted by grief: I want to take action of some sort. I did it when I found out my dad was sick with cancer. I got up early and made spinach gnocchi from scratch to take to the waiting room at the hospital. Because everyone wants to eat spinach gnocchi in hospital waiting rooms, right?? Yesterday I wanted to assemble the most fun gift bags ever for Sharon’s daughters so that maybe they could take a break for a moment from the fact that their mom was dying.

*heart lurch*

Leaving Hasting, I eyed the Merle Norman store. I never really go in them; they’re sort of intimidatingly girly to me. But I wanted another little something for Sharon, and I thought some fancy hand cream would be nice to rub into her hands. I had had some Merle Norman lotion at one point that I really liked.

I popped in, trying to look casual, and immediately got busted. Hello there! Welcome! Have you been in a Merle Norman before? Where are you from?

Oh, sh*t, we’ve got us a talker.
I tried to hide the panic in my eyes and appear to be captivated by the springtime purse display, but it was futile. I was caught.

She was a really lovely person, and it turned out that we know a bazillion of the same people She used to be on the Habitat board, so we knew all those ladies, and her neighbor is a new member. Her husband had died of a heart attack five years ago, and she knew about Wardie, so we talked about grief some. She said that she normally didn’t work anymore, but was filling in for her daughter, so it was a God Thing that I had walked in.

And I suppose it was, but everything is, right? I was worried and hungry and had to go to the bathroom and wanted to get home to Daddy J and watch some Heroes, so I was quite possibly not the best company. She strongly suggested this book and maybe I’ll give it a shot. It’s Christian-y, but not in a preachy or hypocritical way, more of a gritty and realistic way, she said. I dunno. It sounds like it hits on the anger at God that a lot of grievers apparently feel, and (as I awkwardly tried to explain yesterday) I was never angry at God. Angry at myself, sure, but faith was what comforted and reassured and strengthened me. And I don’t really care so much what the Bible says. I just don’t.

She did share one good nugget, which she said she heard once from a co-worker. She said that a group was sitting around eating and women were discussing eating this or that in order to prolong their lives. (Side note: I try to eat healthfully in order to look and feel better, not so much because I think it will make me live a really long time, although I guess it ups the odds.) Anyway, one woman had been quiet and chimed in at last:

What’s so bad about dying?

Which, yes, of course. It’s a good thing to get to go Home.

The bad part is for the people who get left behind.

I bought at last some fancy, subtly scented hand cream that she said a client calls her “silk pajamas in a tube.” I tried some and it was awfully nice. She gave her blessings to Sharon and I left.

I returned a call to a friend in the parking lot and learned that Sharon won’t be using the stupid hand cream.

I know she’s happy to be Home and that she is so adored there, but, oh, I am so sad for those who got left behind.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mare in ATL
    Mar 20, 2011 @ 14:26:10


    I am so sorry for you and this family.
    I know you are all too familar with grief and pain of missing loved ones. It’s been six months since Sandra died. I have been somewhat “ok” about her death, in part because I know she is dancing with joy and no longer confined to the wheelchair. Not that she ever made a big deal out of that. Yesterday I had a visit with her husband which turned into a ride on his Harley to visit Sandra’s middle neice, her husband and little boy who arrived a week after Sandra passed. They have a new house in a neighborhood where Sandra’s BFF lives. She was able to stop in too and we all hung out and caught up. As I left the neighborhood Sandra’s-friend-Joe called me. It was a very Sandra day. Any part of the day would have been wonderful and fun but all rolled into one, good and sad too, if that makes sense. I cried more last night and this morning than I have in the 6 months.

    Maybe you could use the handcream when you miss your friend, and know she is dancing and painfree in heaven, waiting for us to get to the party some day.

    In tears,

  2. Mare in ATL
    Mar 20, 2011 @ 14:36:46

    the Amazon site gives a really good read on the first few pages in the Chapman book. I love his music and remember when this accident took place. I didn’t know she had written a book. thanks for sharing- Mare

  3. Mama Jamz
    Mar 22, 2011 @ 19:52:17

    What a great visit you had, Mary. It does sound like a perfect day, all filled up with Sandra and people who love her. I’m sure she was right there with you all and delighted that you were together.

    Yes, it makes me smile and cry to think about the happy shouts of welcome she got, I can just see her joining the party and giving hugs all around.

    I did read the first bits of the Chapman book, and I think I will pass for now. It’s a little too close for home right now; I worry enough about something happening to Rainbow and I’m afraid that it would feed the worries, honestly. Maybe in a few years I’ll give it a shot.

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