Recovery from surgery has been going well. I am still sore but managed to get myself to school and to our monthly Kai’s Village meet up on Thursday. It was a long day, but I did it!
School was good. I don’t think I missed to much on my first day. It was nice to meet my classmates and get a feel for how the year is going to be. Busy I think!
I had two classes,Business Management and Anatomy and Physiology. Both teachers were great and we spent time in each class talking about what got us interested in massage and what we think our focus might be. For me this was a welcomed, open invitation to talk about Kai -after all HE is the reason I am doing all of this.
In my morning class our teacher was talking about different internship sights and he mentioned Why Me?/Sherry’s House. I took the opportunity to tell the class that we are a Why Me family. That I started going there last year after my son was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, and that I had been given a massage by a Bancroft student who was there on his internship!
I’m not sure many people really understood what I was saying, what it really means to be Why Me family. Or maybe people just din’t know what to say. But at least it was out there.
I go to Sherry’s House as a parent of a child who had pediatric cancer. I HAD a baby with a brain tumor.
Later in the class we went around the room talking about different specialties within massage and what specialties we each are interested in. This was my chance to clarify. I talked about my interest in working with people undergoing treatment for cancer and children with complex medical needs. I talked about how beneficial integrative therapies were to Kai in his treatment and to me as his mom. I talked about Lucy’s Love Bus and early intervention and Camp Sunshine and Whole in the Wall and Perkins. I talked about the benefits of massage in palliative and hospice care, a sect of this that I am especially interested in since Kai’s passing. I told them that Kai died in November.
It was a long strange day. Physically tender from surgery and emotionally vulnerable -hiding behind the lingering post-op haze which protected me from fully feeling my first real day living a life that Kai does not live in.
At lunch a few of my classmates were brave enough to ask more about Kai and our experience. I really appreciated that and talking with them one on one made it that much easier for me to explain it all again to the next teacher in our afternoon class. The second time I was more concise and to the point. I was able to focus our story as it relates to my goals as a Massage Therapist. It was one small step into normal life conversation and it was ok.
Kai will be the reason I do most things in my life from this point forward. His life story will always be a defining description of who I am. It was so much easier when he was here by my side. I didn’t have to explain so much or reach so far or reign myself in. It was all right there. The wheel chair and the feeding tube. His big brown eyes and blond hair resting on my tired shoulder. It’s hard to walk in a world where people can’t just see it. Where I don’t look like a mom, a caregiver, a nurse, a therapist.
At times I do ok and at other times I welcome the protective cushion of the fog that often surrounds me.
By the end of the day I kind of felt like a walking disaster, tired and groggy, excited and exhausted all at the same time. On my drive home I couldn’t help but think back at what an outlandish story I have to tell these days. How crazy I must have seemed limping around three days post-op, talking about my dead baby and cancer all day.
That night we had our monthly meet up for Kai’s Village. This month we had a Valentines Pasta Diner with our favorite entertainer Mr. Kim. The night was a success. The kids had a blast with Mr. Kim (as always) and I was able to visit with friends and family.
My life is often hectic and sometimes sad and may even sound a bit crazy at times, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Everyday I am thankful for the people and experiences that Kai continues to bring into my life. Everyday I am thankful that I now live with a purpose that I never knew I could have. Everyday I am thankful for knowing myself so much better, limping, tired, foggy, hazy, crazy, happy, smiling, determined, or otherwise…because of Kai.