Friday, June 22, 2012

Cherishing Family

The cast comes off!
Sorry it's been so long since we updated the blog. Time has a tendency to fly when you're busy from sunup to sundown. Shaina is home from the hospital. Not feeling great, or even good, but she's home. She was hooked up to IV antibiotics and other medications 24 hours a day, going back and forth to the hospital at least twice a week to get infusions of IVIG and labwork for the past couple of weeks since she was discharged. But as of yesterday, her infectious diseases doctor has decided to stop the extra antibiotics and infusions to see what happens. We're crossing our fingers and waiting to see what her labs show next week. The cast was removed from her foot, leaving her with one very skinny and pale "noodle" leg. She still has to wear a hard boot for a few weeks, but she can take it off to shower and at night. And she can shower in her own shower, sleep in her own bed, all with her baby Sato never leaving her side (even following her to and sitting guard outside of the bathroom door).

This past Sunday morning, Shaina dragged herself out of bed to help Mom and me prepare a Father's Day breakfast for The Most Interesting Man In The World, our Diddy, the one, the only, El Jefe, a.k.a. Jeff Johnson. And while most everyone spends Father's Day reflecting on how lucky they are to have a father in their life, Shaina and I feel extra lucky to have come from the loins of such a magnificent man.

Our father has spent his entire adult life sacrificing for the good of our family. It is obvious to anyone who knows our family that our father loves each of us more than any man could or ever will love us. (This creates some very high expectations in the relationship department for Shaina and me, but that's a whole other story.) As long as Shaina, David, and I can remember, our dad has worked harder than anyone we know to provide a great life for our family (and great insurance plans for Shaina). And when he gets home from his business trips, no matter how far or long he's traveled, he's always ready to sit down with the family and make us laugh. Mostly with stories at his own expense. And these stories are mostly true. He is a great story teller. So even though this post is a few days late, Shaina and I had to give a shout-out to our favorite guy, to thank him for always being that rock that our family needs to lean on. He's the best.

Since Shaina is home from the hospital, Grandma is doing better and Debbie returned to Dallas to help, I returned to New York this week. It's a bittersweet return - I'm glad to be home to see my cat and my boyfriend and my apartment and this awesome city that I now call home, but I'm sad to leave my family, who is going through such a difficult time. But the reality is that no one knows how long Shaina will be waiting for her transplant. And wedding season is in full swing, so I've returned to the East Coast to attend some of these joyous occasions. Still, I can't help calling Dallas a couple of times a day, just to check in.

No matter how awesome the city is, or how fat and cute my cat is, or how much fun our friends' weddings are... my family is, and will always be, at the forefront of my mind. It's hard to be so far away during times like these. David is transferring back to Dallas from Denver at the end of July to be closer to the family. Dad has been trying to travel only 3 or 4 days a week instead of 5 or 6. And I'll keep making trips back to visit when I don't have things going on in New York. We're in this thing together, no matter how much physical distance is between us.

One of the most annoying things that my mother hammered into us while we were growing up was: "with very few exceptions, friends will come and go, but your family will always be there." Friends always seemed more important during your teenage years. But go figure, Mom was right. Shaina is my sister, practically my twin, my blood. She should be visiting me in New York. We should be getting into trouble together, shopping together, having babies together, going on vacations together, experiencing life together. I would do anything to take her pain and suffering from her. But I can't. So instead, I will be there for her in every way that I can as we continue this waiting game...