Mercy. Oh Mercy. Well should I have known something was up? These ladies were stealthy. They were totally covert. The surreptitious nature of what went down – it was downright underhanded and easily one of the very kindest things that has ever been executed on my behalf.
I maybe should have seen it coming but I’m like a 5-year-old and pretty freaking easy to distract. Looking back I can see places where they could have been busted but all it took was someone pointing my attention in another direction. Good thing a diabolical plan wasn’t placed into action because I’d have been the perfect victim. Don’t get any ideas any of you diabolically inclined readers. I think I’m getting my wits back about me so you’ve missed your diabolical window. Too bad for you, suckahs.
The perpetrators: Lori and Dan (my sister and her husband), Kara (who would be the Relief Society President, and the Bishop’s Wife were we in the Mormon world) Lola who used to let me punch her in the face under the guise of coaching her in Muay Thai Kickboxing, and Jen who has the appearance of an angel and the mouth of a trucker-sailor hybrid. These are my people.
Lori invited me over to her house for coffee yesterday morning. When I showed up I was surprised to see my other lady friends there because ever since High School where everyone loved my sister best I’ve been careful to keep my friends separated from Lori as to keep the lid on her outshining me. It’s an issue, what do you want? I’ll get to it in therapy later. But there they all were, at my sister’s home. And they presented me with a lunch box.
The lunch box was filled with money. The money had been collected from all my people at Roan’s school – parents who had watched me go through my latest battles with losing my baby boy, parents who have hugged, kissed, consoled and cooked for me, parents who had already done more than enough by lifting me up and propping one foot in front of the other again and again. My ladies had organized an effort to get my family some time together, something that would bring immediate and long-lasting smiles to all of our three faces. They had collected enough donations to get Anson, Roan and me a vacation to The Happiest Place on Earth: Disney World.
Roan has actually been collecting coins for this exact trip for around 3 years. Yup, half of his life. We’ve never been able to make it happen. But now it’s opened up to us, through the kindness of our neighborhood friends. And when I read the card and saw the names of all the people who gave this to us I cried and cried with no shame (ok, a little shame. It’s on my list of things to talk about in therapy, after my sister issues, later). I just couldn’t believe the generosity of all these people, some of whom I’ve said little more than “Hello” to over the past two months. I know that many of them don’t have a lot of extra money in the kitty. But they gave to us, and it’s just too much.
At dinner, I told Roan I had some really cool news. He immediately said, a little hopefully, “I know it is not that you’re pregnant again…?” with a more certain follow-up, “and it’s probably not that we can fix our baby”. I think that he immediately goes here is normal and good, and it only breaks my heart a little bit. It does tell me that my boy is still processing the permanence of our loss, and looking to make sense of it, just like I do every day. I told him that he was right on both accounts, I’m not pregnant, and our baby is gone still, though we really like to remember him. Then I explained to him that our family and our friends wanted to help us celebrate the family we do have, and that they all worked together to get us a vacation to Disney World. Roan’s eyes lit up and the million questions began: When? For how long? Will there be Room Service? Swimming Pools? Breakfast Buffets? Can we go to a Haunted Mansion? Am I for certain tall enough to ride the scariest roller coasters? Can we watch a movie in bed? Will there be an ice-machine?
Then Roan got the lunch box of cash, and loaded his own savings into it. He read the card over and over which listed the names of his friends that made this possible for him. He said that he really wants to say thanks. I’m hoping he’ll remember to do just that. Because I just don’t know how. I do not know how to properly thank all my friends who have locked their arms around me during this time. I know there are so many people who have been through so much worse, with no support. I feel more than fortunate – again, it’s just Lucky and Loved. I have never felt it so keenly.
And I am in need of advice now – I’ve never planned a family trip to Disney World. Anyone out there that has experience with what to see/do/where to stay/vacation packages…give it up. I now have the means to take this trip. I plan to do right by my conspiratorial friends and laugh with my family for days on end in the sun.