Thursday, June 4, 2009

Butterflies and Thunderstorms

Here I am.
Today I woke up feeling pukey. I had been feeling really well lately and so Scott took advantage of the good feeling time to go off on a little adventure of his own to the coast. For a few days he will be at the beck and call of no one, which is a well deserved need. However, wouldn't you know it; I woke up and knew if I moved a muscle I would throw up. So I didn't. Move a muscle.

This worked for about 15 minutes until Luka said from her yellow horse bed in her room, "Mom, should we get up now?" And I had to think quickly about how I was going to get her lunch made and her hair brushed and her kindergarten body to school without moving a muscle. Does Mary Poppins have a cell phone? Does anyone know the number?

We decided to go to school a little late. Luka carried five of her dolls and three of their blankets over to my bed and we watched some cartoons and I didn't have to move. A muscle. She was excited about going to school a little late until she remembered it was her turn to do the lunch count and then she was very sad and upset. In a crying sort of way. With tears.

I knew we wouldn't make it in time for lunch count, but we got the ordeal settled by many reminders of lunch count tomorrow. And also chocolate milk tomorrow since it is Friday and that is a chocolate milk for Luka day. Lunch count and chocolate milk. Lunch count and chocolate milk. Move slowy out of the bed. Slowly.

I managed to make Luka's breakfast (waffles - in the toaster kind) and half of her lunch before I had to run to the bathroom.

Luka is very respectful of my time spent in the bathroom losing my food. She quiets down and usually finds a little project to do like drawing a picture. This might seem awfully sad and worrisome, but it's really not. She knows it is just part of things as they are now. But I did feel unusually awful today and so quickly laid back down after finishing Luka's lunch and making a few more trips to the bathroom. We decided to call first Michele, then Kathy, then Taylour to see who was home and who could take this kindergartener to school.

Kathy came in a super jiffy. I finished Luka's Around Braid and she was off. And I was off to bed again.

I woke up with a glass of electrolyte water still in my hand. Unspilled. Wierd. I was just in time to make it to Luka's class celebration for the end of their Insect Unit and the release of the butterflies that had started out as caterpillars in round mesh cages in the classroom.

There is something very beautiful about the little faces of kindergarteners. As I watched them watch the butterflies zip up and into the still air, I thought about how much they are little butterflies themselves. Luka has changed so much in one year, her school and home providing a safe cocoon. She is reading and jumproping and also has 2 missing front teeth. What a little butterfly.

Being the self self person I am, I can't help but wish I could be a big butterfly metaphor right now. That my treatment is my cocoon and I am blossom blossoming and the cancer is changing me into a more beautiful person. And maybe this is happening.

But right now I relate much more to the huge thunderstorm outside that is wreaking havoc, blowing patio chairs around, raining huge drops, crashing large pieces of cloud into thunder and setting off blinding blasts of lighting. That is me, the thunderstorm. And my little daughter is the butterfly. Sitting with her wings under a large leaf, waiting for it to be over.


  1. Thank God you are blogging again. We have missed you so much! Sometimes when a nasty storm comes in, a rainbow follows. Rainbows mean hope to me just as the white bird does. Stay strong amd watch for the rainbows and the white birds. Luka is a beautiful butterfly much like her mom. I love you.

  2. Not sure how to put this into words...but there has got to be something related to you writing this blog and the storms we had that evening in PDX. Thunderstorms, tornado warnings, things we never experience here. There's a connection there Julie. Do you feel it?
    Stay strong, we are with you.

  3. My son's class released butterflies the same day as Luka's...imagine the sight of all those butterflies...beautiful

  4. Julie,
    I was so glad to see you that day. I was standing there with Baxter, feeling amazed at his transformation over the last year, and I looked over and saw you there with Luka and you took my breath away. You looked so beautiful standing there and I wanted to rush up and hug you, but there were a lot of people around and I didn't. So I slunk around and waited unitl I could have a moment to say hello and when I got my chance your smile lit up my whole day. You are a butterfly my dear, a bright beautiful butterfly out there braving the thunderstorm and showing us how even the most delicate of beings can weather the storm.
    xo Em

  5. Hi, Julie
    I just read your beautiful June 4 blog. I am so happy that you are still writing even if it is about nausea and vomiting. You create great beauty in the midst of your suffering. I believe that this qualifies as some sort of enlightenment.Enlightenment Schmenlightenment! I certainly remember reflecting on how Quinn's illness and disability have made me a better person and then thinking that I would happily trade all the personal growth in the world if it would make Quinn better. So much for beauty and enlightenment. The real point of this comment is to tell you that I called your cell phone and sent you an email to let you know that I would be like to be able to be of some small help to you and Luka. So please put my phone number among those you call when you need a hand.