Cleveland, Don’t Let Me Down.

Cleveland, Don’t Let Me Down.
On Saturday I will be leaving my daughter, a senior in high school. I will be leaving my job and more importantly my paycheck. I will be leaving the house that I love in the little town that I love. I will be leaving my friends, the best support system any woman could ask for.
No, I am not happy that I am leaving. But I am happy about why I am leaving. There are some amazing epilepsy specialist at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and they just might be able to help Dan’s refractory epilepsy. So we are packing up enough clothes for at least two weeks. If all goes well, we may be there for up to a month if not more.
My daughter at her 18th birthday party.
Still, my heart breaks when I think about leaving…the thought of being away from my daughter for that long nearly kills me. I won’t be there when she opens the email telling her whether she’ll be spending the next four years of her life in NYC attending Columbia. I might miss the last Christmas where I can call her my “baby” and still get away with it.
There is nothing easy about being a caregiver, especially when that care giving extends into months and years. It seems every day I am asked to make difficult choices. Some are far more difficult than others, but still none of the choices are “fair” or fun. But no one really expects dealing with brain cancer to be fair or fun. But here is where resiliency kicks in. I can choose how I want to frame this situation.

My boots for the trip.

I can focus on my sadness or on other happier things like having an excuse to buy giant fluffy sweaters (I live in Florida!), the excitement of possibly seeing snow, ice and sleet (I live in Florida!), and getting to wear beautiful scarves, hats, gloves and BOOTS…lots and lots of BOOTS (I love boots…oh and did I mention, I LIVE IN FLORIDA).

Dan’s boots for the trip.  Shameful!
 So Cleveland, don’t you dare let me down. I know the residents will be pissed but give me winter and give it to me hard! I better see trees covered in glittering frigid crystals. I want my journey from the Hope Lodge to the hospital to be paved with carpets of crunchy unblemished snow. Distract me with your winter! Not the timid shy winter of the Deep South but the brazen hussy of a winter only the Snow Belt can give! Freeze away the bits of me so sick of sickness. Make room for the new shoots of hope and faith in this friendly universe that I know are waiting, shivering with anticipation for the first signs of spring.