We were the closest family possible. Our world was turned upside down on 05/03/09 when my best friend, the person I love most next only to our children, my sister Trina was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Her body gave out on her on 01/09/10 but she will ALWAYS be a part of our daily life and will continue to be in my posts. I started my blog to chronicle our daughter's international adoption from Guatemala and have continued to use it as a journal.

What you will find is my family trying to adapt to our new lives that were handed to us.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thank You Rose

Yesterday I had wall to wall coverage of Ted Kennedy's funeral on. I realized I didn't know a whole hell of a lot about the entire Kennedy clan so I decided to read up on them. I found the most amazing quote from Rose Kennedy:

"I am not going to be licked by tragedy, as life is a challenge and we must carry on and work for the living as well as mourn for the dead."

- Rose Kennedy

I loved it and it really hit a nerve with me. I decided to pull myself up by my bootstraps and see everything I have. Yes, it's still shitty that sissy is in so much pain, literally. It's shitty that she has cancer. It's shitty that there is so much hurt and violence in this world. But I am going to be like Rose and work for the living. I also find it ironic that it was Rose Kennedy that inspired me because in a round about way, it takes me back to my grandma. Grandma loved her roses and named each one after her grand kids.

When I was really little we were always surrounded by a ton of cousins, lots of aunts and uncles, there was always a lot of family. I took it for granted at the time and as things changed and the family got smaller, it didn't really bother me. Mom is one of 7 kids, only six living now and Papa is one of 12. Papa had a few more siblings, at least one set of twins died. Anyway, once Asa was born I began to realize that I missed the big set of family that we grew up with. And now, more than ever, I realize that Valentina will need to rely on Asa and vice versa, just as I've had to rely on sissy and she on me. Our small family of 8 has only each other. We've been blessed to have the support of our extended family in addition to Norm's family, and it's been nice to reconnect with our Aunt Jeanie. She has been wonderful in sending comforting cards and flowers. The last time we were all together was at Grandma's funeral a year ago. I don't know, I guess seeing the whole Kennedy family banding together in their grief made me remember when our family was that big. But yet as our family has shrunk, it has also concentrated in love and closeness. And for that, I wouldn't change a thing.

So! Tomorrow is another week. Sissy has chemo tomorrow. She usually does good on Monday's and Tuesday's. From then on it's a crap shoot. I believe her doctor will be checking her tumor marker numbers. I'm praying and hoping for good ones.

I think one last reason my mood shifted was because I got a complete and utter break from Valentina. I feel so guilty saying that, but it's true. Mom and Papa had her most of Friday, then she spent the night with them and Saturday she was stuck to Norm's side all day. In fact he went grocery shopping and she insisted on going with him. It was the first time he had ever taken her grocery shopping. Yes, he does all the grocery shopping. He does it about every 2, 2 1/2 weeks and is gone for about 4 hours. He is a slooooooooow shopper which is why I can't handle going with him. A few weekends ago Norm took Valentina with him for the first time, anywhere, by himself. They went to Lowe's. So yesterday they went grocery shopping. It was one of the cutest things I've ever seen, the two of them holding hands, walking out to the car. Valentina gets so attached to her daddy on the weekends. She doesn't see him much during the week, maybe two nights at the most, so during the weekend she wants him to do everything for her. It's also good for him because he's even closer with her now and he gets a glimpse of what I do all week with her. So I had most of yesterday to myself also. Even when they got home, Valentina didn't want much to do with me, she wanted Daddy for everything. It wasn't until around 5:30 pm that I actually got a chance to sit down and talk to her. It was nice. I had a real break. Oh hell, it was better than nice, it was amazing, it was delicious, it was heavenly! And I don't feel guilty for saying that! I feel like I give the kids 80% of myself during the week so to have two days to myself was above and beyond! I even took mom's advice. I sat down, turned on some music, and wrote. I love to write and have many things that I'm writing at once, that way if I'm not in the mood to write one thing, I can flip over and write in something else that I'm working on. I don't do it with any thought of being published, it's just something I do for MYSELF. And it was lovely!

So bring on the week! Bring on the shit! Because I'm going to be like Rose and not be licked by tragedy! Life IS a challenge but I'm going to work for the living, dammit!


Grama said...

Thank God for that statement. I am so glad to hear you are not going to let this evil thing win. I know you can do it. Praying for you to feel the strength.
Love ya

"Aunt Kathy" said...

there coulden't be a "truer" more "hitting it on the Mark" quote.
she definately had her share of grief......she was an amazing women.
its "sad" that all three kennedy brothers are gone now. Another "chapter" of life closed.
I always admired the kennedys,. diden't always agree with them, but heck, who really agrees 100 percent of the time anyway.
what a precious picture you gave us of Valentina and her Daddy.
theres nothing more sweet than a daughter walking hand in hand with her Daddy. No matter how old they are or young. its a Norman Rockwell picture.
"Aunt Kathy"

mylene said...

Good for you Cameo. may God bless your week.