It's Monday, and I started the day counting down the number of work days (because it's less than counting down the days in general... and I like to be different) until I begin my new journey. "14 Work Days," I said. 14! Then, I turned in resignation #2 and changed my last day to Christmas Eve instead of New Year's Eve, so that ended my day with 10 work days left and life got just a wee bit sweeter. Now, I get to spend the last week of Christmas break at home with my Booger Bear and life is just as it should be.
Then, the day got even better. Even better than that you ask? Oh yes. I called a urologist and bought myself a Christmas present. The gift that never stops giving... I bought and paid for Charlie a vasectomy. Merry Christmas to me... Merry Christmas to me every year from now on.
After I left work, I picked up a sleepy bug and made it home in time to decide I was too tired to cook. So Lake decided for us. He decided he needed to use his Free Pizza Buffet coupon at CiCi's. And even though I do believe that place smells like dirty mop water, I couldn't resist him. He had earned it by saying 10 unprompted "Thank Yous". Who can resist such a darling boy?
Not I... Not. I.
When our bellies were full of cheap pizza and sweet glazed rolls, we piled back in our ride, but not so quickly that I didn't have time to pause and inhale a brisk cold night. Oh I love a brisk cold night. I have not worn a jacket all day and I honestly feel it is the perfect day. Even though I saw some wearing gloves and hats and scarves, me and my thin long sleeve shirt and simple scarf were just dandy without a jacket. I am made for the cold weather. I was born for it.
With a quick stop at the grocery store, where Charlie took Lake in to do a little shopping and I sat in the car with my Lennon bug.... I turned on the country station and started singing. At first to myself and then I climbed in the back and sang to Lennon. I talked to her so sweetly, and she would smile and touch my face, all sleepy eyed. Then I told her how fun it was going to be when Mommy was at home all the time. I told her how much I loved her and how we were going to be best friends. I told her how I was going to teach her to crawl and walk and talk and play pretend and explore and build things. I told her how we would have tea parties until we were tea'd out. I imagined us all dressed up with no place to go but the tea party we made in the back yard... coppin' a squat on a quilt in the shade. I got all misty-eyed with excitement picturing my darling little bug and me. I knew right then, she would be my little sidekick for far longer than I had ever dreamed my daughter would be. She was not going to be that teenage girl who was embarrassed by her mom - not that she would have anything to be embarrassed of anyways. She was mine. All mine.
And as the next song began to fill the air with the country musical golden goodies that I adore so much and take me back to a simpler time .... it went a little something like this...
"If you get there before I do, don't give up on me.
I'll meet you when my chores are through;
I don't know how long I'll be.
But I'm not gonna let you down, darling wait and see.
And between now and then, till I see you again,
I'll be loving you. Love, me."
And though I know that song was written for two lovers, I sang those specific words to Lennon from the very depths of my soul. Why? Because I was reminded that it is very possible she will beat me to Heaven. While most days I do not allow myself to go there or think that or read statistics, I know them very well. It haunts and taunts me daily as I hear of someone ill or someone dying. And maybe if it hadn't of been for my boss telling me, when I turned in my notice, that "Ya know, I understand... with all the issues and health problems Down Syndrome people have, their life expectancy is just not very long. And since Lennon has been so sick and with her heart and all, well you just never know. You need to be at home with her while you can." Nothing could have stung more than that, and nothing could have slapped me right back into reality, and all that is not-so-happily-ever-after, as fast as that did. I tried to fight the tears and I told him to shut up and I told him to stop saying that and I told him I won't listen to it but nothing... and I do mean nothing, could have fought those tears in his office.
Just like nothing could have fought them while I was singing those words to my happily ever after. Because that will be the day my heart stops beating. The day all my fears come crashing down on me... ripping my heart into a million pieces. And the tears just kept falling as I was singing.... It's just a blessing, they say, if we get 30-40 years. 50 would be a miracle, they say, and 60 - well... I am hopeful. I just pray the Lord takes us all at the same time. Maybe, just maybe my heart won't have to be ripped from my body.
All the while I was crying and singing, my Lennon had taken my hand. She held my finger in her tiny palm and was rubbing it with her thumb, as if she were trying to calm me. And at that very moment, it did... a calming joy and love took over and I smiled through tears and she smiled back, confirming her never ending joy and love is exactly what I needed in my life... once again.
About that moment, I realized the song was over and man was I glad. Enough tears for one day. Then, another oldie came on and I had a flashback.... I remembered my brother and I riding in the back of a big tan and black striped van, piled with kids, singing to the top of our lungs, "There's a stranger in my house... some body's here, trying to take her away from me...." and Lennon got the giggles. Lennon was laughing so hard I thought she might not breathe. I am still not sure if I should be offended because I cannot carry a tune in a bucket or proud because no one gets her to laugh as hard as I can. But, then again, I did make me laugh too.
And just like that, the tears had stopped and the laughter had started. It seems like that is a pattern with me and my girl.... Laughter Through Tears. It's kind of our thing. It's usually how I cope with life, and usually the moment God is trying to tell me something. This time, I am pretty sure He was telling me to enjoy her ... snatch her up... breathe her in... because there's more where that came from. There's an eternity ahead, full of laughter with this girl. She is just what the Dr ordered. And she was right on time. Don't dwell on what could be, or could not be.
I am only promised today. That I know for sure.