(driving north in traffic, snarled on a weekday morning. two adults and a child driving a subaru outback, the modern-day minivan. DAD is behind the wheel, next to an empty passenger seat. MOM is in the back seat entertaining SOLAS who is very small, with fat thighs and big eyes.
DAD's knee hurts from pressing the accelerator in stop-and-go traffic, because DAD is OLD.)
<silence, because what can you say to that? DAD was up at 4am, and then 6am and then 730am>
DAD: man, i'm tired.
SOLAS: hmm. i'm doing fine though.
DAD: yeah, well maybe you should drive, my leg hurts.
SOLAS: my legs aren't long enough to make it to the pedals.
DAD: my sleep last night wasn't long enough to make it to san francisco.
SOLAS: ...i think i want milk.
DAD: no! no changing the subject! you always do this when i'm verging on winni--
he's actually slept from 8pm to 630am for most of the last five nights, which is totally incredible. and i'm so grateful for all the prayers that are certainly part of how that's playing out, as well as the body of work created by richard ferber, and the fact that the gentle grace that rebecca exudes is apparently genetic.
here's rebecca, being graceful:
we did an ocean baptism with solas and our santa cruz and bay area crews. it was so lovely. part of it was like this:
...and part of it was like this...
we just heard from our oncologist that we're approved to start in with the Tarceva 3.0 treatment at UCSF. we'll go in this tuesday to sign the consent forms and the treatment will begin next week.
we also went to a naturopathic doctor for the first time last week, and he's been fabulous. there's So Many natural cures that you can pursue for cancer. and that's Awesome. and it's feeling important to have someone to guide us through all those different options (turns out strawberries and sweet potatoes aren't as good as blueberries and brown rice for rebecca at the moment, and no real need to do vitamin C injections, which are a thing that exists apparently). so, rebecca started taking a zillion pills last tuesday and the amazing thing is that their collective side effect seems to be boosting her energy and clarity. which is nice.
when last we talked, i spoke about dancing with the ancestors. that was in reference to this being the season of halloween (a catholicized version of the celtic pagan feast of samhain [SOW.an - with "sow" pronounced like a female pig]). traditionally, this was the end of the harvest season and a time, among other things, when the veils between the worlds became thin, and it was easier to connect with the spirits of the departed.
...and this is a particularly potent samhain for me since it's the first time my dad's on the other side, and since i've given him such an important (to me) assignment in negotiating the terms and delivery of rebecca's miracle.
and it felt lovely to have a moment in the season to both connect with my dad's energy and be joyous about some good news, in the context of a lovely, spirited, free-form dance here in santa cruz. you never know what you're gonna get with those things, and we got a good one.
oh, and the silent anniversary date is because that's our tradition. on our first-ever date, my mind was a trainwreck of competing thoughts and questions, and i asked rebecca if she'd like to eat our meal in silence. she did. we did. and now that's part of how we mark our anniversary.
something to add to your list of things to be grateful for: you can use a spoon. that's so you don't look like this eating a meal...
i sent something out called "what's in a name?" a few weeks back that explained the name iridaea that i'm using.
my mom wrote back: I've made worse mistakes in my life than not naming you Iradia. What saint had that name?
and i wrote back: i woulda hated going thru grammar school with a name like iridaea -- david was the right name for that time in my life. and it seems like iridaea is the right name for this time....and you know, abraham was abram before he wrestled with god...
and my mom wrote back: Why don't you just drop the middle letters of your given name like Abraham did. And we'll call you dad.
the rains are coming back to the land, and we're grateful for that. rebecca's energy is up, and we're grateful for that. and my Mom's here helping us out, and we're so grateful for that!
really i'll have to do a montage of the incredible stream of blood and chosen family, and friends, and friends-who-are-becoming-family that have been supporting. shout-out at the moment has to go to our dear friend mars and her mom who've been coming by on mondays and tuesdays and loving up the kid. man! the gift of time is the gift of life is the gift of community. such a rich offering. and then our new gramma rosamaria's been holding him and teaching him the rhythms of espanyol, and our sweet buddy teresino keeps sending us texts saying "when is it most helpful for me to come this week?" and there's wren and brenna and lindsey Q and the rest of the out-of-towners who parachute in and become solas' teddy bear for a day or two or five.
there's no way to write about this stuff without Mostly leaving people out, which is unfortunate but i figure it shouldn't stop the flow of accolades. we're so grateful to be held by y'all so deeply.
once in awhile someone will inform me that i'm strong. i don't know about that, but i do know i'd be a puddle without you. you who are here in your body, you who are here in your prayers, you who send us gift packages from afar, who brighten our day for a minute or a day or a week, who lighten our load with your light.
we are so blessed! amen.
we give thanks for Creation
we give thanks to give thanks
we give thanks for rebecca's health
we give thanks for the restoration of her eyesight
we pray for rebecca to be in perfect health
we pray for her body to be clear of all tumors
we give thanks for the ongoing health of baby solas
we pray for dad to be held in grace.
we pray for the physical, spiritual and mental health of all those supporting this little family.
in the name of jesus
in the name of mary
in the name of mary
in the name of brigid
solas, rebecca, and da(vi)d