The family decided that we needed an opportunity to run away for a weekend. It’s just been so hard around here lately, and everything is a heavy conversation. Husband and I try to keep things lighter at times, especially for Daughter, but we all felt like everything inevitably came back to cancer talk or surgery talk or hospital talk. We needed a distraction to help us escape the heaviness of real life, if only for a day or two.
We were given the opportunity to go into New York City and see some amazing sights. Daughter was shown the graves of Eliza, Philip, and Alexander Hamilton, which is something she has wanted to do desperately thanks to Hamilton, the musical. She was able to share some interesting facts about him as we traveled the city, seeing where he and his Alexander and Philip attended college quite accidentally. She saw the site and memorial for the twin towers and, while she does not yet understand the importance of that place, she will and will want to go back. She saw how something amazingly beautiful was built to replace something torn apart and horrible. That in itself was a good lesson for her on the trip. She saw the Blue Man Group, which is really an experiment in the height of escapism. Try to be thinking about anything but what you are seeing at a performance like that and you will fail miserably; they are masters of forcing you to be in the moment. Daughter even wound up accidentally choosing an amazing spot for lunch which no one else would have chosen, and it was delicious.
When we arrived back at our home after our long drive, I was amused to notice that we stayed in three sperate rooms for a while. It was as if each of us was cementing the experience in our own minds and preparing to slowly slide back to reality. We each certainly took our time, and Daughter chose to go to bed early. I think her choice was, in part, to keep reality suspended for as long as she could. Sure enough, Husband and I let the upcoming events seep into our evening. We talked again about how we would manage schedules and travel. We discussed clothing I will need after surgery and where I would set up to recuperate. I cried. He held me. Reality was back no question.
These moments of escape are going to be what sustains my family for the next year as this journey continues. I will enjoy them, throw myself into them. I will work to be what my family needs me to be in the moments when I can have a say in it. Life will be celebrated at every opportunity.