I was visited by a memory this morning. It swooped in on me as I trudged up the stairs after feeding the equines and cleaning the pasture, kicking off my boots in the mudroom, and padding past Ben and Toby sitting on a window seat happily engrossed in a game of Magic: The Gathering.
The memory is this: I am sitting on our cushy love seat, Toby tucked in close on one side, Ben on the other. It is the day after Ben has finally, FINALLY come home from the hospital after having four surgeries for Chiari I malformation, two months to the day since the first surgery took place. I am feeling that I never ever want to be away from my children. I want to keep them home, next to me, safe. Whatever it takes.
Ben is home again, and he is almost pain-free. He appears lighter in body and spirit. He is calm and even. Happy, considerate, grateful, mellow. He has focused on Toby and playing with Toby all day, much to Toby's intense happiness. The baby brother really REALLY missed the older one.
Driving Ben home from the airport last night we talked about being apart from each other while he was in Philly. "I'm going with you next time," I said.
"Weeeeell, I don't think so, Mama," Ben said. "Daddy can move me, help me get up, reposition me," he paused, "I really need him for surgeries...and he doesn't mind helping me pee into a bottle."
Well huh. I protested a bit. ("I don't mind helping with the pee bottle!") But, I guess I can handle this.
I just want everyone to know that we're all lighter here today. We're at peace because our Benny is doing so well. Mark's coming home early from work, it's Make-Your-Own-Burrito night for dinner, and the piles of dirty laundry are scattered in front of the laundry room door. Life is getting back to normal.
But next time (9 months from now, according to Ben's surgeon), next time I'm going with him. (Anyone know of a place that I can order an extra large duffle bag from?)