Monday, August 13, 2012


Today is the day all of Zack's friends go back to school. Originally Zack wanted to go and hang out with his friends during lunch. He woke up bright and early ready for the day, brought me to work and returned home to get ready to head out to school. He went in early to pick up the laptop only to find out that they are handing them out tomorrow, so he had a little time to see some friends he hasn't seen all summer. When I asked him how they reacted to his shaved head, he said "Mom, they don't care", "I mean.. they care about what I'm going through, they just don't care about my hair, everyone does it now." He stands taller than ever now, at 6" 5" he has always been tall, but his presence is somehow taller, he has grown up so fast and it's amazing to witness. He couldn't wait to tell me about running one friend in particular. As he was saying goodby not realizing that Zack couldn't stay, the friend looked at him and said "Zack, we start school in 5 minutes, where are you going", Zack said " I don't have to stay, See ya later!" He is laughing and finally seeing that it's kind of cool that "they" have to stay and he can leave. Again he is finding the "good" in this situation and making the most of it.

Once he left school, Zack decided to head over to Shawn and  Floyd's house to start working on his car. His cousin Darrick was at home (his school doesn't start until next week), so they decided to hang out together. He is eager for tomorrow. We are all hoping that his counts are good and we can begin the hospital stay. None of us are eager about the treatment, but as Zack says "the quicker we can start the treatment, the faster it will be done." They had a great day together, just being your typical teenage boys, (whatever that entails these days).

Since Zack (again) kept my car, I had him pick me up at work around 6 pm. With the project this weekend, laundry is piled up and if we are going to be at the hospital we need clothes. We go by K-mart and buy funny pajama bottoms. One pair looks like they are torn up blue jeans, another has smiley faces all over them. We find a pair of camouflage (faux) crocs and the outfit is complete! He has decided that hospital gowns are fine as long as you have on PJ bottoms.

We arrive home and Frank and I discuss whom is staying with him and when. I want to protect him every step of the way and  Frank (still in his busy season) reminds me that he must work every day or the money is not going to be there. I know he is right, but it's frustrating. We call Zack in on the discussion and ask him what he wants / needs. ( He has been spot on up to this point, so we trust him to tell us the truth). He says " I know I can't keep Mom from staying as often as she wants to, but honestly, I really want to have some time alone to get to know the other kids, flirt with the nurses (if they're hot) and play my video game."  he continues "I would like to have Forrest come over some when he can, so we can hang out, talk about cars and not feel like my every move is being watched". It is settled then! We will ask Melanie (Chris' Mother) if she can hang out with him either Wednesday or Thursday during the day (she wants to see how the unit is run as she is still trying to figure out what field of nursing interests her) Frank will spend Wednesday night there and me Tuesday day/night and Thursday night. that way at least, he is not alone through the night (sometimes the nights are the hardest to be alone, especially for kids).

"They" say something like this can make or break a relationship. Our Journey has just begun, but if our communication is any indication as to what direction we are headed, we are going in the right direction. It's no secret to those closest to us (or maybe the world since I share Zack likes to point out to me quite often) Frank and I have had a rough couple of years. Together now for 30 years we both know couples go through different growth spurts. Counseling, got us even more confused, anxiety created a whole mess of emotions that I never want to feel again, "haters" that tried to ruin what we have, I could go on. What we are both seeing with this is a new stronger union. When one of us gets scared, the other "pulls it together" and is the strong one. Zack even told us that it's nice that we are getting along and actually having fun as a family again. When I say this is a blessing, it is because of the way this has forced us to change.  I have found when you focus on yourself too much, you can make yourself miserable when there wasn't any reason to be so. Why do I mention my marriage? This blog is about the reality, OUR reality as a family, to not mention the ups and downs something like this can have on any relationship, be it husband, wife, child, friends or family would be to lie.

As I am writing this tonight, Zack is on the couch (his new bed until his room is finished this weekend), Frank has fallen asleep on the love seat. I hear laughter and Zack calls me in to the living room. As always Frank is giving orders in his sleep. Zack is asking him questions like, "where do you want the rocks?", Frank answers, "you have to put them in the center, not to the right" and "don't forget to cut the feed line a little more, you left it too long". Zack is laughing hysterically telling Frank "I'm not Quint Dad!!".. one of Franks employees. THIS is what life is about, the silly things that make us laugh. We are able to appreciate the little things even more so now, this is what has been missing from our life and I for one am so grateful for the opportunity to be awakened.

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