Before my diagnosis on July 1st, my life was ordered and predictable, just the way I like life to be. I worked three days a week and at least once a week, my grandaughter Ava would come spend the day with me or, more often than not, spend the night. We played her favorite music and danced around the kitchen. She climbed into the jogging stroller and we walked up our dirt road to see the chickens and horsies and picked daisies and black-eyed susans along the way. We ate breakfast in the living room. And before naptime and bedtime we read a couple of books of her choice and sang a song or two. She always requested "Que Sera Sera."
Now that I have few days that I feel close to normal, the days are few and far between for visits from Ava. Both of us miss the days before my diagnosis. In the days following my first treatments, Ava would ask, "Can I stay at your house, NeeLee?" I would have to tell her it wasn't a good time and as time has gone on, she doesn't ask anymore. When I do have a few good days, and one of them includes a day when my husband is home, Ava does come spend the night. Such precious times they are too.
Last night was one of them. She and I watched Charlotte's Web while Papa made dinner. She refused the booster seat and chose to sit in the dining room chair like a big girl (she'll be three in January). She gobbled up raspberry shortcake for dessert and there was just enough time for one episode of her favorite TV show, Calliou, before bedtime.
Ava gave Papa kisses and hugs. Papa said, "Sleep tight!" as Ava climbed the stairs. She called out, "Don't let the bed bugs bite!" and we all laughed. She and I settled into the rocking chair and after I read her two books, I said, "What song would you like to sing?" As usual, she said, "Que Sera Sera." She faced me and snuggled against my body, her head on my chest and I started the song: "When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, what will I be? Will I be pretty? Will I be rich? Here's what she said to me. Que Sera Sera, whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see. Que Sera, Sera." Ava sang with me last night. She doesn't always sing it. I love it when she does. We sang it again, two more times, same verse.
I'm not sure whether Ava is drawn to the tune or the words. I suppose a little girl asking her mother questions might be part of it and the tune is certainly appealing. I've loved that song since I was a little girl actually. I remember hearing Doris Day singing it on the car radio. Last night the words of the chorus felt particularly poignant for me. "Whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see." I have three treatments left. A four-week wait, then surgery. It's still uncertain whether I'll have a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. It's still uncertain whether there'll be a recurrence in my future. What will be, will be.
Cooking for survival
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