And friends, while I am still reeling that my babies are not babies, I am not sad about the last of things.
I am happy to move on.
I didn't think I'd feel this way. I thought with each child all these lasts would get harder and harder. And while I am a little bit hesitant about the next chapters in our lives, I am okay with chapters ending.
Our family has fought so hard to get any chapters. Friends, I didn't even know if I could be a mother after my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. And then one very early preemie and my near death, followed by childhood cancer and another preemie and another near death left me wondering why the universe was hunting us down. Then my son came. I spent that pregnancy scared; but everything was fine, for once.
But still, we've lived in the shadow of childhood cancer for so long that to get farther and farther away from it is fulfilling the fantasy I had the day Lily was diagnosed in the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia emergency room. I dreamt of packing up my baby, grabbing my husband's hand and running far, far away from the mass on the CT Scan.
I feel like every first, last and in-between of something puts all of us faraway from the thing that threatened to make us cease to exist. And, of course, cancer is forever and the worries will always be there, but time does breed more hope and more distance from the acuity of the trauma. We will always be vigilant--but we will be farther away.
I want to bring on all the last things because after the last things come new first things and after the new first things come all the new in-between things. I want all the things and all the time and all the amazing wonderful things this world has to offer for my family and my three beautiful babies who are growing up so fast. I want them to finish things, so they can start things and to start things, so I can see them finish things; like I got to see my Chloe finish her last year of chorus and concert band, tonight.
I want them to go far--and to do that, we will go through lots of lasts.