Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Aria's Smile

Reading this now, 16 months later, is an extraordinary thing. It is hard to imagine that I ever worried that Aria would be forever changed by her steroid treatment. At the same time I understand why I had the concerns I did. The changes were so dramatic, so harsh and just so unbelievably real. I supposed mix that together with the overall shock of a cancer diagnosis and it is no wonder that I simply no longer knew what to expect.

This email captures a glimpse of what was lost albeit temporarily and how we began to see it come back.

February 19, 2008
Subject: Aria’s Smile
It is Sunday February 17, 2008. The sun is shining in a crystal clear blue sky. It is a gorgeous day. This is the third day that Aria has been off her steroids and already we are seeing some subtle changes. The most obvious one is that she doesn’t want to eat every single minute of the day. The other is that she is perking up a little. She’s even had a few sassy moments that have required some reminders about her manners. She barked at me this morning, “Mama, just go away!” I didn’t take it personally nor was I angry even though this kind of manner is not acceptable. I gently reminded her, “Aria, if you are trying to tell me that you need to be left alone, I’d like you to make that about yourself and say something like, ‘mama, please give me some space.’ “ Aria immediately practiced that phrase and I responded with an enthusiastic, “Absolutely, I will give you some space! Let me know if you need anything!” It was a nice little interaction and Aria was fully present to it.

She stayed alone on her chair in the kitchen for some time. I would guess a good 15 minutes or more. I was puttering around, picking up toys that Miss-Disaster-Area-Rianna had thrown all over the place when I heard Aria call for me. “Mom, could you come in here for a minute please?” I went to her and she said in a softer almost whimpery voice, “I need my Dad!” I knew that Doc was trying to catch a cat nap on the big bed so I asked her if she wanted to go upstairs and lay down with him. She nodded yes so we promptly went to the big bed. To my complete surprise, when I put her on the bed, she crawled over to Doc and nuzzled right into him as he was arranging the pillows for her. She broke out this beautiful smile and giggle as she wiggled and nestled in close to him. The relief and comfort on her face to be with Doc was extraordinary and unexpected. She lay there staring up at the ceiling playing with her ear and rubbing her eye smiling and sighing. The sense of security she gains from Doc is something truly profound and unique. It was a brilliant moment full of tenderness, warmth and love not to mention tremendous hope and anticipation that Aria is about to emerge from the cocoon she built around herself these past few weeks. I can hardly wait to see the butterfly she has chosen to become!

No comments:

Post a Comment