I didn't think I was going to share this news--that line of what's "too personal" for me is hard to distinguish since I feel so close to many of the people I know read this. But I'm opting for being "real" here, so bear with me as I share what is now very happy news for my family.
Exactly a week ago today, Calvin complained of a neckache, which was followed by the sudden appearance of a large, hard mass on the side of his neck. With no other symptoms, and the size, shape and way in which it appeared, our doctor seemed as alarmed as we were. The concerns ran from mono (presented as our best case scenario--it was so odd to be wishing for mono!) to Leukemia. I will never, ever forget the feeling in my body as I heard that word in the doctors office, and how it stayed in my body as the days progressed and we waited, and waited, and waited some more for the testing and then the results. My first reaction was to research and research, which of course, was only terrifying, really, and leading me into a week of worrying and lots of anxiety. But something amazing happened for me this weekend, as I remembered some recent readings I'd done from Thich Nhat Hanh's Our Appointment With Life: Discourse on Living Happily in the Present Moment. In this book, he talks about the need to let go of both the past and the future in order to be fully present and open to the moment of now. As my thinking started to shift, I held on to the idea that "the future has not yet come"....and once I was able to do that to a degree, the present moments became so clear, vivid and beautiful to me. And with that, I was able to fully experience so many beautiful moments with Calvin this past week. Amazing, lovely, sweet and heartwarming moments.
I can't tell you the relief and joy we felt when the results came back clearing him of everything (all he has is an acute virus, and a bump on his neck ;)). But I'm also feeling joy and gratefulness at the whole experience for what we've gained from it.
Oh, so the artwork above. It's one of Calvin's recent drawings--he and Ezra on a wagon ride. This weekend, I was drawn to this picture of his, and turning it into an embroidery project occupied much of my time. The repetitive, meditative process of the needle and thread going in and out of the fabric was so soothing and comforting to me, and helped me in my attempts at mindfulness. So, this new pillow happily resides on the center of our living room couch now where I can look at it often and hopefully be reminded of the beauty of each "present moment" I have with these little ones.