So just call me Ms. Optimism but with a touch (just a touch) of Ms. Pragmatism. I had an unbelievably good response to the chemotherapy. But given the extent of my cancer when it was diagnosed, cancer cells almost certainly remain in my abdomen. They are isolated and cannot be identified on scans or in the blood markers. They may be dormant for years. Or they may suddenly wake up and start to grow. But for now, for right now, I am considered in remission. I choose to consider this a chronic illness to be monitored and nothing more for now. I have not let cancer define my life no matter how much of my time it consumed. I can now put it on the back burner.
Our son and d-i-l brought our dear granddaughter for a nice visit over the Independence Day holidays. So why is this photograph of my son? And one taken so long ago? There is a little story here. My mother obtained this Campbell's Soup tee shirt for our son when he was three or four. He loved this shirt more than anything he ever owned and wore it all the time except when it was in the washing machine. He wore it over a long-sleeved shirt in cooler weather and he wore it until it was really too small for him. I saved the shirt along with his blankie and favorite stuffed toy and gave the shirt to his wife some years ago. The blanket and stuffed toy I sent when Violet was born.
Our son proudly wearing his shirt
Fast forward to the present. The family arrived here for the holidays. What should Violet be wearing but her Daddy's favorite shirt!!! It will never be pure white again, but it is in surprisingly good shape considering the number of washings it endured decades ago. Our daughter was totally amazed when I sent her a photograph. She responded, "That cannot be the same shirt!"
It's not surprising that Violet has no attachment to the shirt whatsoever. But you cannot imagine the flood of wonderful memories that ran though my mind when I saw it. Memories of a very sweet and loving little boy who once played in the woods in our house on the lake. Who was gentle but strong-willed. And the fact that he grew up to be an amazing man, husband, and father.
Violet decided to try out the dolly stroller. She found that it didn't work very well. But that's how toddlers learn, isn't? How do you know whether or not something will work if you don't try?
Violet and the famous tee shirt
We had so much fun with this active little sprite. She is happy-so-lucky and is constantly on the move. Yet she will sit and draw or color for quite a while. She loves bubbles and can dip the wand and blow them herself. But she prefers to have her Daddy use the thing that makes giant ones she can pop with a foot. She is learning manners and has such a sweet little voice that can get amazingly loud when she calls out for her daddy or mama.
She went downtown to help celebrate the festivities. She loves being a people watcher, especially if she is on a bench eating gelato. She hates to wear hats but fortunately she will wear sunglasses so her eyes are protected.
The bookstore owner gave her a little flag
The next day, she got to go to everyone's favorite store, O. P. Taylor's Toy Store. It is packed full of every toy or game you can imagine. It is such a fun place with wonderful staff and several hands-on areas where children can actually play with toys. She was most impressed (as we all are) with the Lego roller coaster.
Violet takes off her shades and looks in wonder at the displays
Our quote for the day comes from the great Native American Shawnee, Tecumseh:
"When you rise in the morning give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself."
It is impossible for me to make a list of all the things for which I am thankful. But I am thankful for them every single day. It sounds trite, but since my diagnosis I have awakened and said aloud, "Thanks for another day." I'm not sure for whom it is intended, but it makes me feel better to acknowledge my extremely good fortune.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention our Lucy on a Friday. We miss her greatly but now we can laugh about the fact that we had just gotten an order from Chewy days before she died. A big bag of her prescription kibble and 36 cans of her prescription diet. We are washing bed covers and toys and those, along with the food will be most welcome at our local shelter. Lucy will be helping a lot of shelter dogs even now.
HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK, EVERYONE