Sorry for the interruption.... We left off at New Years Eve, right? The New Year arrived a little more quietly at our house than it did other places, but with no lack of plans, and hopes, and wishes.
Twinks was out like a light before long - she kissed everyone, and fell asleep before the first hour of the New Year was gone. The Wrench and I sat quietly in the living room, surrounded by the flotsam and jetsam of the Holidays, watching as the rest of the world celebrated.
For our family, every new year is our time to take stock, and give thanks for our blessings. Perhaps it is because The Wrench and I were married on New Year's Eve 19 (!) years ago. Birthdays and anniversaries tend to make humans contemplative to begin with; when your special day falls on one that the entire world celebrates, it seems to add even more depth and meaning.
(Note to self: Check calendar. Count carefully. 19 years? Really? No way... )
The Wrench is a sentimental softy at heart. Every year, on our anniversary, at exactly 2:00 pm (the time our wedding ceremony started) he solemnly puts the videotape in the VCR, and we sit together, and watch our wedding again. To some, it may seem like a silly little ritual; to us, it is a yearly reminder of how we felt that day - of why we were there that day - of how happy we were to be together, to be married. The reminder carries us forward through the year. It shimmers in the air between us, it envelopes us, it embraces us. It has kept us together through times that were tougher than anything I would have ever imagined as a new bride; the promises made - and since kept - by us together at that altar still ring true each year.
This past year, as you may know, has been difficult. Our little family has struggled so hard against The Twinkie's pain. But we have never lost sight of that day, 19 years ago, when The Wrench and I "founded" our little family, standing in pools of gently colored sunlight that streamed through the stained-glass windows of the old stone church.
This new year is going to bring with it some new challenges. The Twinkie is growing fast, and so is her pain. I have a new contract, with a new client - and an opportunity to make more money than I have in years... if I can keep a handle on things. The Wrench is watching with some trepidation as the company he works for continues to struggle to remain competitive. The calendar is already crowded; the OFG alone could keep us busy all year, and there are dates for Girl Scouts, Church events, Shriner events and more.
And, as always, another trip to Hospital City looms on the horizon. Monday and Tuesday next, to be exact.
Because, through all of the Holiday Hoopla, through all of the misery of being sick at Christmas, through everything that has gone on in the last month or so... the pain remains.
And in just the last two days, things have taken yet another new turn. Now when Twinks stands up after prolonged sitting, she doesn't hurt - because her legs have gone numb. As in, poke-a-pin-in-me, I-feel-nothing numb. It terrifies her: She can't feel her legs at all, and although she can walk, she feels like at any moment her legs will collapse out from underneath her. If she remains upright - standing - long enough, the feeling, the sensation returns to her legs with a swift wave of pain that washes down her legs.
And so once again, we as parents, are helpless. All we can do is hold her, comfort her, remind her that on Tuesday - we only have to make it to Tuesday - we will see The Doctor, and he will help us find out what is going on. The same countdown, the same preparations for the trip to Hospital City. The routine, I believe, is a comfort to her - she knows that we wouldn't go see The Pin Man if we weren't really going to The Hospital. She knows that we wouldn't be gathering the toys, and getting out the suitcases if we weren't really going. So that is a small comfort - because she knows that these things mean we are just hours away from leaving.
Monday morning, The Twinkie and I will again drive to Hospital City. We will leave early, heading southwards through the cold January air towards the warmer climate that surrounds Hospital City. Once again, we will stay at the same little hotel, eat our dinner at the same steakhouse, and retire early. On Tuesday morning, we will rise early, in order to pack everything back into the van, and be at The Hospital before 7:00 am. We will eat our breakfast there, and visit our friends around The Hospital. We will wait for the call to the exam rooms; hoping and praying that The Doctor can help Twinks... again.
And Tuesday evening, I hope and pray that we are northward bound again - heading home safely, with answers, and solutions. And one pain-free Twinkie in the back seat.