We are home! Louie felt exhausted this morning in the hospital and was on the verge of a nap. They needed to give him a shot (to boost cell recovery) and asked him if he wanted it before or after his nap. He popped up to get the shot knowing we could leave afterward (a blood transfusion for low hemoglobin and a monthly antibiotic under his belt already). He even got up to help me pack. A stop for ice cream, perusal of the new Costco flier (one of Louie's fave pastimes) and a 7pm bedtime. Bliss.
I can generally hold it together if conversations are on my terms and stay on the surface. I received a hug from a mother today who intimately and regrettably knows loss. A hug and a "hang in there" and I lose it. For both of our sadness. I picked Louie up pizza recently and the manager, a pediatric cancer survivor, handed me the pizza and asked about Louie and if he relapsed. It caught me off guard and I cried on the drive home. My suspicion has been the attention is what makes me uncomfortable, obscurity is warmth. I lost my mom nearly 13 years ago to stomach cancer. I'm now curious if my reactions to certain moments are because I'm missing that component; the compassionate, relentlessly constant, champion that was my mom. So the tears will sit, on the surface, undisturbed until they aren't. I can't think about it often, but doing this without a mom is unbearable, second only to pain Louie endures.
We'll stay on the surface while we can and enjoy being home. I can scarcely smell the cabbage.