A regular occurrence

The house, unusually quiet as I sit reading.

Then pounding feet on stairs, basement door banging open, and my eldest son of 19 runs into the kitchen, around the island and turns, poised, looking back the way he came, face bright and expectant.

I abandon my book and watch Sidney, wondering . . .

His younger sister, 14, slowly walks into the kitchen, popping her knuckles.  Rachel moves around the island.  Sidney moves in the opposite direction.  She stretches her neck and shakes out her arms.  He laughs, makes a run for the dining room table, putting more distance between them.  She slowly paces him, menaces him with a glaring eye, a smile trembles her lips.

This has been a familiar scene since Sidney and I returned from Memphis 15 months ago.  Rachel loves locking her arms around her older brother, his arms imprisoned at his side, while he tries to wrestle free.  He twists and turns, dragging her from kitchen to dining room to living room.  She hangs on for dear life.  They fall to the couch, roll on the floor, twist their way back to their feet, lurch off walls and furniture.

Twenty minutes, thirty minutes — Rachel has a good, strong grip.  I hope they don’t break anything, including themselves, but it is a vague thought.  I am glad they play together.  In those early days of our return home, Sidney needed exercise, needed to rebuild wasted muscle.  During his tiredest days, escaping her grip was a fun distraction, a necessary workout.

I wonder if Sidney knows that Rachel needed those wrestling matches too.  Still needs them.

His reticent and undemonstrative sister needs to wrap her arms tightly around a brother she loves and never let him go.

All Clear

My wee little chicks, not so little anymore — Lincoln informed me that he is now 6 feet 3/4 inch.  My baby, Prairie,  weighs 103 pounds.  Just a few details the kids learned about themselves at St. Jude this last week.

All tests on all kids look good.  Lincoln, Rachel and Prairie will not need to go back until next year.  Sidney will go back in April for his 3 months scans.



In between lumbar punctures, MRIs, scans and blood draws, the kids had plenty of time to think of ways to taunt their waiting mother back home.  They posed for pictures and texted them to me . . .



“So THIS is a poptart!  They don’t taste nasty like you always told me Mom.  In fact, they are especially yummy with this rainbow cereal.”



“Cherry!  Cherries are healthy, right Mom?”



Tired kiddoes at the airport late Thursday night, bellies full of hotel breakfasts and cafeteria food — I think  they look forward to coming home to their Mama’s Spaghetti Squash noodles and Cauliflower “alfredo” sauce.

Sidney’s Homecoming

From Home with Love …

We are home.

All of us.  Together.  Home on our hill.

Sidney and I crept up the driveway on a Saturday evening, two weeks ago.  No one knew we were coming home early.  They were all busy preparing for Rachel’s 13th birthday party, which was the same day.

The evening was full of surprises.  The family got a son and brother home.   The coming-home son got his own surprise — an almost finished room in the basement.  One by one, as aunts and grandmas arrived, each walked into the living room, not expecting to see the one they were missing.

It was a good evening.


Another Day, Another Transfusion


Sidney has finished his chemo treatments for pineoblastoma.  He is in the recovery phase.  All that chemo beat up his bone marrow, and he needed blood and platelet transfusions to build his body back up.  We are hopeful that he will not need any more blood.  Today, he got a platelet transfusion.  Platelets often look like orange juice.

Sidney’s 18th birthday is March 13th, and we are hoping to be back home celebrating by then.