Several months ago I had a dream that stuck with me.  I enjoy walks/hikes and this is how this dream started off.  I was walking along a trail on a beautiful sunny day and remarking to myself how perfect this hike was when I abruptly came upon a cliff.  So abruptly that I simply stepped right off it without even seeing it.  I landed in a raging river and while sputtering back to the surface I'm thinking to myself "How did I not see it? I don't normally walk off cliffs... this can't be happening." While I'm trying to keep myself afloat and staring at the tall cliff I just walked off, I hear a voice behind me saying "Hey, come, follow me this way".  I turn to see someone afloat in a tube in the same raging river but smiling while waving me on, "The end of the river is this way, you'll be OK."  Still numb and unable to think, I just start to swim my way along side her and begin to notice that the water doesn't seem as raging and I'm able to swim smoother.  Getting over the shock, I look ahead and I see that there are others swimming in the same river towards the river's end, which in the distance looks so much more calmer.  My goal becomes, 'get to the end of the river.'  As I swim I start to feel stronger and I look back at the cliff I had walked off and to my surprise I see someone walking off it like I did, and some more already in the water behind me.  I holler back to them to "Come, this way, you'll be OK!"

As I'm swimming along and gathering with others swimming and floating along the way I notice that there is a couple at the shore edge being helped out of the water.  My first thought was "hey, how come they get to get out earlier", but quickly
change my thought to "its better to stay in the river" as I see and hear their cries.  Yes, stay in the river and swim to the end, that is best place to be.

I woke up shortly after that.  That was where we were in our journey of childhood cancer with our middle child.  We had walked off a cliff we didn't see, floundered a bit as we asked "why, why our son, why our son with special needs, why our family, why us, why me."  We found our way among others on a similar journey ahead of us that were more than willing to be supportive and encouraging.  And yes, the reality of those who left the journey early to start a different journey of loss and grief. 

Now we are further down the river.  The waters are calmer and the sky sunnier.  The river is still going on.  How long is it, I don't really know... but I like swimming too and we are together.

Seems that everyone remembers to be thankful at Thanksgiving weekend and I am no different as we do have lots to be thankful for.  First, we GET TO celebrate Thanksgiving around table of food with family and friends.  We GET TO because we have food and family.  We take that all for granted but it is still true none the less.  And with that I encourage everyone to drop food off at a food bank collection and share in your abundance whatever it is and when you are sitting around your table with your family, take a look at them all and at the very least say "thank you" in your heart that everyone at your table is with you this year.

We have an extra thing to be thankful for this year.  It is our biggiest, most bestest thankful thing and it is that our son finished a long 3 1/4 years of chemotherapy at the end of August.  I was reminded last night when an ear infection started on him and I brought him in to get checked out.  I expected it to be a quick look and antibiotics and we are out, but he also had a fever.  Since he is considered immune compromised for several month after chemo as well, that meant blood tests to check his counts which if they were low he would be admitted, which in turn would mean not able to attend and host thankgiving dinners this weekend.  It's happened before and you learn to roll with it, but I'm am very thankful that his counts were good after all and he could go home with antibiotics and a follow up on Wednesday.  

So this Thanksgiving we also GET TO be together as a family.  

Yes, I am  Thankful.

A few nights back, coming home from from my daughter's music lesson, we stopped  at Walmart for something and on the way back out my daughter tells me "I smell something yummy... McDonald french fries... Can we get some?" My response was no. A week earlier our son on chemo treatment had a fever and was admitted in  the hospital, and when he is either hubby or myself stay with him. Usually I'm there and hubby spells me off in the evenings so I can have a break. (It really
is not fun but I'll have to post about that some other time.) So as a special treat I took the other two kids to McDonalds for supper one night. The next day I went back in to be with our son and hubby went to a fishing show in Toronto with the two kids and a friend as was planned prior to the hospital stay. Along the way to Toronto they all had stopped at Wendy's.

So back to this night when asked about getting fries, the reason for saying no was she had two fast foods recently and that was more than enough and she was pretty lucky to have had those "treats". She said ok and paused abit and then commented "we only go to McDonalds when Z goes in the hospital, right?" I answered "yup, that's generally when we do that."  Her next words were, with hands clasped together, "Dear God, please make Z have..." and then started giggling as I interrupted with "oh don't you do that" and than we laughed together. Its not always easy with a sibling with special medical needs, so it's nice to have a good giggle when seeing the positive side of things, even if it is just being able to go to