On Wednesday morning, as I was preparing to meet some friends for lunch and then go to my 6 week check up, the doctor's office called to say my doctor went home sick and that I had to reschedule or see the doctor on call. And I lost it. Big time. It's funny what makes me crack these days - not the credit card bill we got earlier in the week that had the fee from the funeral home. No, that I knew was coming so I could handle it. It's what I cannot see coming, what is unexpected, what throws off my routine, I guess, that makes my head spin all the way around.
After I calmed down a little bit, called Gary at work and made him leave a meeting to talk to me and then called my mom at work for further support, I decided to see the doctor on call so that I could get the exam over with, get the green light to go back to work and then see my regular doctor next week to get the final test results and official post op appointment.
I had never been examined by a male doctor before, but it really did not phase me to be seen by him. It's also funny what just does not matter as much any more. My levels of comfort and discomfort have joined and the distinction between them is hard to find anymore. The exam was brief and I was told that my incision is healing nicely. I am "cleared for active duty" as I say (time to stop watching Army Wives!) and good to go back to work. I can swim and exercise again, but I am to ease into it and take it slowly so as to not do too much at once. He said that I cannot break anything or do any damage to myself or my body from the recent surgery, but I can overdo it and I was warned to be careful. They wrote me a note to give to my employer and off I went to get my hair done. (No reason why those in mourning can't look good...).
So with that appointment behind me, I was left with 2 days of FMLA and I wanted to make the most of them. And that I did.
I have been going to the Jersey Shore for as long as I can remember. Atlantic City, Ocean City, Sea Isle, Avalon, Cape May - I have been on all your beaches. Gary is not really a beach person, but I love it and nothing can keep me away. Luckily, my BFF feels the same way and with her parents agreeing to watch her soon-to-be six year old for the day, off to Ocean City we went. Our one day beach trip had to incorporate a whole vacation in just a few hours so we walked on the boardwalk, ate at Mack & Manco's for lunch, had Kohr Brothers custard for a snack, Chickie's & Pete's Crab Fries as a chaser and some freshly squeezed lemonade. We walked till our feet were sore and bought gimmicky bracelets with our initials on them and jewelry that we did not need but sparkled so nicely in the cloudless sky. We walked down to the icy water and felt the sand in our toes. We ate fresh crab legs and scallops and flounder and drove home as the sun was setting - our bellies full and our hearts light. We talked about the past and the future, about our dreams for ourselves and for each other. And we talked about Allie. She will always be with me wherever I go and it was an absolutely wonderful day.
This morning, still on a high from yesterday, I went to my mom's and picked her up for our day. We drove to New Hope and walked around and marveled at the beautiful weather and how nice it was to be outside and enjoying it. We popped into a few stores and looked at sandals and rings and purses and then went to an outdoor restaurant and ordered lunch. And we talked. We talked about how different this summer is going to be from how we both imagined it was going to be. We teared up thinking about Allie and how she is not here to do all the things we want her to do with us. We talked about how we felt and how the pain is less some days and worse some others. We talked about making this summer count and enjoying every moment, instead of wishing it away and waiting for the time that Gary and I can try to start a family again. We talked about appreciating what we have and not longing for what we don't.
We left New Hope and drove to Peddler's Village and walked around there for a bit. It was just too nice to go home! We bought matching beaded bracelets and wore them for the rest of the afternoon. We went to Coach and damn that 30% off coupon. Retail therapy is a real thing - I am living proof of that.
With really good friends and family, you can be in the same room and not talk. There can be a silence between you that is not awkward, but just there. It's a peaceful quiet that fills in the spaces between you and sometimes you do not even know it is there. We drove home in some of that quiet and it was soothing and nice.
So here I am at the end of the last week day off that I will have for some time and I am aware that yesterday and today were good days. Very good days. Does that mean tomorrow will be a bad day? I hope not! But good or bad, I know that each day will come to an end and there will always be another day after it and all I can hope for is to live each day as best as I can. For Gary, for Allie, for me.