How we are...
Well, I am finally in the land of the living after being sick for over 10 days straight. I'm not completely well yet, but I feel so much better than I did! I actually went outside last night for the first time in a whole week. Of course, a wall of heat met me on the other side of that door and I quickly got into the air conditioned car. Ahhhh, life in Florida! It's kind of like life in a Montana winter. You go as quickly as you can from your door to the car and vice versa.
I thought I would update you on how our first weeks home have been. John has been very busy. He still doesn't have a full load of work yet, but somehow he has been completely busy. There have been some side jobs and a few new accounts that have filled in a lot of the gaps for him. And then there are things to finish off and settle in the house and shed. I think that it's safe to say that John is very overwhelmed right now.
Somehow Ethan has jumped right in to life in Florida with a happy heart and just a peaceful sense of contentment. I truly expected this to be harder on him, particularly the fast pace and difficult nature of our first couple of weeks here. But I've seen God undertake for Ethan in a most amazing way. Ethan's first week was a blur of excitement and activity. He bounced around from house to house - often without us - visiting grandparents, cousins, and friends. And then he spent a week cooped up in the house with a sick mommy. Even then, Ethan was quite content.
So, the most common question on everyone's mind these days has been how I am doing living back in our old house. It's a good question. I was so overwhelmed and tired that first night and I felt a little emotional. But then I went to the hospital immediately the next day and spent the better part of that first week and a half away from home. And then I spent a week sick...
Today, as I sit here and think about it, I've discovered that being back in this house and living in Florida again after being away have brought some interesting emotions and sensations. Generally when I have gone back and forth between locations I've lived, it feels like no time has passed and I've just stepped back into life like I left yesterday. It doesn't feel like that this time. In many ways, things still feel foreign to me. But not in a bad way... just different. I don't feel overly emotional. It's more like being in a fog. Everything is kind of fuzzy and unclear. At the same time, it does feel as if Ellie is just a bit closer to us in this house. In day to day life, I get the sensation that she might pop around the corner and ask me a question. In Montana, the memories that lived with me were those of Ellie's last year or so. But here the memories of Ellie go farther back to a time when she was healthy and childish. John brought home Chinese takeout the other night, and it was the same food from the same place that Ellie loved. Those memories came back in a flood and we choked back the tears as we ate our sweet and sour pork without her.
For days I've been seeing the photo John has set to his desktop on the computer and I can't remember if I ever posted it on the blog. I could go back and look, but I figure that it doesn't hurt to re-post photos from time to time. These photos are from when we took Ellie out to a fancy dinner on our way to another round of chemo. We were literally on our way to the hospital, but we got all dressed up and went to a very nice restaurant where they serve organic food. Ellie was beside herself with the joy of it all. She was in a beautiful black dress, complete with jewelry. The lighting in the restaurant was soft and everything sparkled from the glow of the candle at our table. But I vividly remember that nothing sparkled more than Ellie's eyes. She took turns sitting next to her daddy and me, and she could not stop hugging and kissing us. We finished the night off by ordering her a little dessert. For a kid who had been mostly off of sugar for months, it was heaven. Ellie took one bite, and her eyes rolled back in pure pleasure. Some of the photos are kind of blurry because we didn't use the flash, but we still love them. (The last one is the one John has on his desktop.) They capture such sweet moments of pure joy. I think that this is one of John's and my very favorite memories of Ellie. It was one perfect night.