Well my friends, there is a time and place for everything and tomorrow our time has come to leave the fifth floor stem cell unit and try to transition back to "normal" life; whatever that entails. But with all this joy and excitement of the good things to come there come heartache.
We have had EXCEPTIONAL nurses during all of our stays at Riley, but this round was a little different. Since we were "in house" for a little over 6 weeks, I have gotten to know the nurses, doctors and housekeeping on a first name basis and consider MANY of them my friends. That is why today and tomorrow have been exceptionally difficult. I told nurse J tonight, "I can't do Goodbyes, I will cry but I can do "I'll see ya later" so we briefly hugged because well, I knew if we embraced too long I would get teary eyed. So as she walked out of our room, It was "See ya later!".
It became a little bit harder when our housekeeper friend JR came in to say "goodbye." I told him I couldn't do it. It had to be "see ya later", he made some smart remark about Keegan's face and how bad it looked and I came back with one of my smart lines about him working (or lack there of) and we hugged. That is when the tears started flowing and I began to think about all the people that I see every.single.day that I am going to miss dearly.
These nurses, doctors and housekeeping staff have been much of our support during this long, long hospital stay. They have gotten to know us and we them. They are like family. They have cared for Keegan like any mom would and truly want what is best for him. They adore his smile, his giggle and the way he likes to suck on his glow toe. They know how I dog on myself all the time for my weight, some know stories about my past and other I have taught a little about who we are and what our hopes and fears are.
I have much respect for all these people, I could NEVER do what they do. They can and do get attached to families only to see them here and gone within a few weeks or months. Like I said, I am not good with goodbyes. I have added a lot of these people to my face book or communicate via text daily. They are my friends, I am confident in saying that and it is NEVER easy to leave a good friend.
People come in and out of all of our lives for a reason, that is a fact. Some come to help you see things clearer, some to lend a hand during a hard time, and some because I believe destiny/fate made it so. These "friends" of mine at Riley have helped to make our journey with Cancer easier. They have let me cry on their shoulder and go out to a random dinner at PF Chang's (JS), they have let me vent about bad interns(H), we have joked about Jeff Gordon(JR), picked up Starbucks for me on the way into work so I had decent coffee (RR), talked about life in general and how we think we were separated at birth (MP). I am going to miss all of you even if I didn't mention you above!
So tonight my Riley friends, as I lay my head down on my all to uncomfortable cot, and as Keegan snoozes away in his hospital bed to the glow of the hallway light know that each.one.of. you has touched not only me but my family. You have made a very big difference in our life. We love you and always will. I hope to keep in contact with all of you and visit when we come up for clinic appointments. You are hands down the best group of people I have had the pleasure of knowing and taking care of my child.
So tonight friends, it's not "Goodbye". Tonight is "I'll see ya later" because in the words of Richard Bach:
Don't be dismayed by good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.
a.k.a the wacky mom is Room 5162B