I talked to Jesus all day yesterday.
It started in the morning as I started to get out of bed. It had been a sleepless night, as Quinn and Morgan are both apprehensive about the sharing night at Camp Kesem. Last year Madison spoke for all three about what its been like with a mom who has stage four cancer, and there was crying. It didn’t hit them until Saturday night that Maddie wouldn’t be there with them. I told them they could share or not share, they could both share together or alone, and whatever they say is fine. It’s their time to get it out with kids who “get it”, and understand, and will sit with you and hold you in sacred space, even if you cry. And on Wednesday night I’ll be thinking of them and sending them extra love.
Quinn almost didn’t get in the car when it was time to leave the house. He kept tearing up and whispering he didn’t want to go, and holding onto me. This is where my years of teaching kindergarten helped, as I knew as soon as we got there, the counselors would help him… I just had to get him there.
We picked up another NJROTC cadet from Madison’s unit and having another girl on the at that he didn’t know helped a bit, as he kept it together and put on a brave face. We got him Dunkin Donuts and my dad called at the perfect time and made everyone laugh by offering to sing the Marines Battle Hymn. Quinn flipped the switch when Grandpa hung up the phone, and I knew he would be ok.
We pulled up and the college kids from Stony Brook University were there, waving as we pulled up. It was different this year, as they know counselors and what to expect. Madison was sad she is missing it, but was so glad she could see her favorite counselors from last year. She got hugs and some of them said they stalked her a little when following her track team so they knew she was ok during the year. They set policies in place so you follow privacy. No one used their own names and there is no contact allowed outside of camp except through camp email. I’m going to send the counselors a link to my blog so they can keep an eye on the kids and have an easier time doing so. At drop off I saw a whole bunch of other moms I know, and everyone just gets it. Others may see us dropping off our kids for a free week of camp, but it’s not free. We’ve paid a high price with this diagnosis, and wish our kids never got the ticket to go. But if we are thrown in this cancer arena, then we are so thankful for organizations like Camp Kesem that helps our children feel not so alone.
Quinn saw his friend from last year, “God of Thunder”, and felt relieved. The counselors all remembered him and I felt so happy seeing them all hug my “Raptor”. Morgan was Lunastella last year and decided to change her name to Beast…until the night before, when she changed it to Pegasus. I’m happy she changed it and she is going to fly at camp. She saw an old friend from last year as well as the kids went off and had fun. We quick took a family picture, gave out hugs and kisses, and then left. I talked to Jesus again to keep my kids and all the campers and counselors safe, and fill them with peace and love. I prayed for all the families with cancer for healing.
When i got into the car I was grateful we had another cadet with us so I didnt burst into tears. We drove up to Newport as Madison and her friend studied the chain of command of the different branches of the military and we practiced singing military songs. I took my Chinese herbs and chemo and supplements on the way. It was a nice quick ride and we got to the base in four hours.
We pulled up to Ripley Hall, I took a quick picture of the girls, and then their Commander met them.
Captain is an amazing man, and the girls breathed a little easier seeing him. He walked us up to the dorm, the girls gave their names, and the woman said, “Ok mom, say goodbye.” I didnt expect that quick of a drop off, so I took a deep breath, hugged her quick and kissed her, gave her friend a “Mom hug” for her family, and that was that.
Then I cried.
I talked to Jesus to keep her and the cadets safe for the two weeks, and thanked Him for those who serve our country to keep us all safe.
Rob took me to Newport and we walked around. I found a cute store with things that reminded me of the Giving Room.
Then we went for a light lunch at The Moorhouse.
As we sat, a big storm rolled in and it got windy and poured. By the time we finished lunch, it was over. Apparently Long Island also had strong storms too and I saw some pretty scary pictures.
We got in the car and drove through where rob went to college. He always told me about his college days and he lit up as he told me again about them. He was especially happy about a bakery that is still there, where he used to get $0.25 cupcakes. He said that one day in college his friend Pete said that there was a girl out there waiting for him, she would become his wife, and she didn’t even know it. I’m so glad that girl is me. I thanked Jesus for this man who has helped me raise three extraordinary humans, and has been by my side every step of this journey.
We got to providence around 7:00 pm, I laid down for a half hour, went to dinner in the hotel, prayed over the pills, and then went to bed. It had been a day.
Today we will get up, look around providence a little, then head home.
I’ve already talked to Jesus this morning to keep my kids safe, for safe travels for rob and I , and for healing.
May it all be so.
In Jesus’s name, amen.