ultimate graduation

Its been a really full past few days. So much going on with Unravel. 2 MNO coming up and a golf tournament.. A few different interviews and our fluttering kits going on sale.. Its been easy to escape into it all.. Its been hard to escape into it all..

Will I ever not need to actively grieve? Will I ever be ok to go more than a day without crying without a crushing weight bearing down on me? I don’t know.. I really don’t. But I am starting to worry I may never. That losing my eldest child is truly so horrible I will never not have to succumb. . even just a little every day.

Along with Unravel we had sickness that has kept us homebound for several days. Jonathan missed his last day of preschool because of it. That was ok though, because he seems to be battling some unforeseen force also. He had a huge meltdown.. in trouble and then screaming and crying hysterically .. unable to regain control. I held him. I am still luckily stronger than even his most forceful explosions.. So I held him until he was drained of it. We talked later.. about graduating from preschool and what comes next

Ready to eat a snack together on her last day. They loved to be next to her.. to learn from her .
Ready to eat a snack together on her last day. They loved to be next to her.. to learn from her .

Kindergarten. Which for him seems to also translate to mean death.

That’s so twisted. Its so wrong that a 5 year old is scared to start school because to the extent of his knowledge.. you start kinder, you turn 6.. then you get cancer.

The first 2 things he will follow a very similar path to his big sister. Turning 6 just after the school year starts. I imagine we both will breathe a slight sigh of relief when the clock turns midnight on his birthday.. When he is 6 and 1 hour with no cancer diagnosis.

grad6

 

I’m grown. I’m logical and I know there is no reason to think it would happen again.. No reason to think that just because she was diagnosed with cancer on her 6th birthday that he will be too..

But I am scared of it.

I am scared .. so illogically .. for him to go to kindergarten. I have all the normal sadness and fear of any mother as her child begins their official school career.. But then I have his additional fear that I can almost feel circulating though my body.

If I am like that. At 35 if I am still so innately scared.. how hard must it be for him? He expresses it and I try to calm him.. but how can I convince him of something I can’t convince myself?

He gets nervous, but he was very excited and proud of himself.
He gets nervous, but he was very excited and proud of himself. He said when he grew up he wants to be a warrior.. He doesn’t even realize he already is.

Jonathan did get to graduate from preschool.. I tried so hard to cement myself in the moment and be all about him.. But then they sang a song. About how full of Gods promise they were.. And I felt the familiar burn in my eyes.. as bitter tears started to fill them.

What about her promise? If this was His plan? If this was what He had in mind then I am mad at Him.

It’s the wrong plan.. the wrong use of her. She would have been amazing ..

I tried to not get lost in a swirl of fears… to focus on the normalness of the day. But it was hard. Because I didn’t know that her preschool graduation was her only graduation. I tried to fight the wondering that wanted to intrude on the normalcy.. the wondering if this could be his last.

She loved her pre-school career. .. I never realized how much that time would end up meaning to me.
She loved her pre-school career. .. I never realized how much that time would end up meaning to me.

I didn’t win the thoughts.. they beat me. But I did control my actions. I didn’t go over the top. Nicholas and I got him a graduate necklace at the dollar store and we went out to dinner afterwards.. more out of necessity than anything else (it was after dinner and I am 6 months pregnant!)

As I laid in bed at night though I allowed the wandering and the fear to take over. And I cried myself to sleep. Im glad I did. We have 2 family graduations to face this week.

All girls. 8th grade and high school. Milestones. Ones I will never get to live with my first born.

I am jealous. I am questioning. I am sad. But I hope even though I know I cannot control the thoughts and the feelings.. I hope I can continue to control my actions. To not allow those hurts to harden me.. to make me bitter and angry at the wrong things. I hope I can continue to focus my efforts on unraveling the cancer that stole her.. I hope I can continue to fight along side her cells to save other kids.. and maybe .. just maybe save a little bit of me too.

you’ve made the ultimate of graduations

haven’t you sissy?

thank you

for letting me there for that. ..

first and last breath.

grad1…until there is a cure..

11 Responses to “ultimate graduation”

  1. XO – your fears are justified because of PTSD – the diagnosis, the age, the hell you went through every step of the way until today and for all of your tomorrows – it is trauma and you are reliving it with every 6th birthday that you see, especially in your own children. I have to admit that I felt scared when A. turned 6 earlier this month. Only because I know you and I knew Jennifer.

  2. I completely understand where your fears are coming from. Irrational in reality, but yet so very real. My only child is going to start kinder this August and I fear that she will develop cancer like Jennifer did. I know that it is very unlikely, but it is still on the edge of my brain. Before I stumbled across your blog, I never once saw cancer as a likely scenario. It happened to your precious daughter, it could happen to mine. We will find that cure…thank you so much for creating Unravel and giving so much of yourself to raising awareness and funds for research. I know you have got to be wearing yourself so thin with all these roles you have taken on…so I just wanted to say THANK YOU. You are opening people’s eyes and hearts. Much love from Texas.

  3. The fear lingers around my thoughts as well and all I have experienced is watching you go through this. I can’t even imagine how it must haunt you. And poor Jonathan. Your dedication to rise above it in whatever way you can is another example of your immense strength. Lots of love to all of you.

  4. You completely have the right to be scared. It’s irrational but not unfounded. The fact that you get up every day and do what you need to to get through the day (whatever and however that might be) is amazing. You are an inspiration to us all Libby.

  5. You too are a warrior Libby- such a brave and strong loving mother. Your strength and courage amaze me- prayers for continued strength during these graduations. Jennifer will stand by your side and continue to be your guiding angel. LOVE4JLK always

  6. He has grown so big…what a strong warrior young man he is!

    The fears as he turns six don’t seem outlandish. You have lived through incredible tragedy, and you fear it again. It is most definitely true that it was the wrong plan, “wrong use” for Jennifer, as you put it. Through Unravel, you will set it right for other families.

  7. Jennifer was amazing. Jennifer IS amazing. As long as you and Unravel are fighting to save children, as long as her cells are helping to find a cure, as long as wake up every morning and fight (even when you dont want to) she will continue to be amazing. There is no way those sweet carmel chocolate eyes of hers could be anything but amazing.

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