It was an early Sunday morning. The living room was dark and we were cuddled together on the sofa. We were enjoying the movie Dolphin Tale. We both liked it very much. It reminded me so much of my recent escape to Florida and the dolphins that I saw.
We were keeping warm under my favourite plush grey blanket. I was cherishing every single moment that she was gently, perhaps unknowingly tickling my arm, my cheek, she was ever so softly showing me how much she loved me by her actions. I would imagine that most people who are parents know what this kind of genuine snuggling is all about. I think this is what I have missed most by not having kids of my own. Not that all kids snuggle, but I would bet money on the fact that I would have had a child full of emotions and feelings like myself. I know this only happens when kids are young so I just cherished every second of it. It likely only lasted a few seconds, but I stretched time as much as I could to fully enjoy the experience.
“Aunt Karrie…. how come you keep getting scars all over your body?”, my eight year old niece Caelan asks me. I hate that cancer entered this moment that we were sharing together. I snapped back into reality right away and I simply told her the truth. The truthful version of what I felt that she could understand. I told her “Sometimes people get broken legs or arms and the doctors fix them with casts and medicine, and sometimes people are broken on the inside parts that we can’t see, like our tummies and our hearts and lungs. Some of my inside parts are broken with something that is called cancer, but don’t worry, my heart is okay. We know these body parts are there even though we can’t see them, that’s why my doctor has had to operate on me so that he can get to the inside broken parts to fix me. This new scar and big bandage on my chest and neck that you are asking me about is where the doctor just put a special part inside so that he can give me that crazy medicine again that made my hair fall out before. I have to get this medicine again.”
I think this answer was okay. God I hope it was okay. The last thing that I want to do is scare this young girl who I know loves me very much but little does she know that I love her more. I never want her to know that her Aunt Karrie may very well leave her world before she ever reaches her teenage years. I can’t even allow her to think that my broken parts may cause me to go to heaven way earlier than every planned. I will never give up, it’s not an option. Ever.
The conversation was over as quick as it had started. Thankfully. We continued hanging out, keeping warm on the comfy couch, under the cozy blanket and watching the injured dolphin in the movie overcome his injury and the obstacle that life dealt him. He won with the support of so many people that loved and supported him. I thought, yes, I am a lucky dolphin too.
Here are a couple of pictures.
Caelan & I when she was only 5 months old, and present day, Caelan teaching me how to feed and change a diaper on her Baby Alive doll. Great memories.