Apr 21

Last night I tucked Maren into bed after we read our chapter together.  When I tiptoed into her room to deposit laundry thirty minutes later, she whispered, “Mama, will you snuggle me?”

I mentally threw away my To Do List, and I crawled into her bottom bunk with her.  I lay on my back inhaling her scent, noting the length of her limbs, and listening to her chatter.  We began to talk about our day and our week.  The more we talked the more wound up she got.  She was tearful about something, so I quickly changed the subject.  Next she was giggly to the point that I feared she would never go to sleep.  After a lot of conversation, I finally said, “Maren.  Sweetie.  You are the same as when you were a baby.  I would try to snuggle you and have you fall asleep in my arms when you were little, but you would talk, and wiggle, and play.  You were to busy talking to me to ever fall asleep.  And you’re doing the same thing as a 6-year-old!  I love talking with you, but I need to stop snuggling you so that you will go to sleep!”  We shared a final giggle, and I crawled back out of her bottom bunk; she was asleep when I checked on her five minutes later.  It’s amazing what personality traits appear as an infant and carry through these years.  I can count on one hand the number of times Maren has fallen asleep in my arms.  She’s just not that kind of kid.

Tonight I tucked Greta into bed after her little nighttime routine.  Some nights you can give Greta a kiss and waltz out the door.  Tonight was not one of those nights.

I took the easy-but-time-consuming path to put her to bed tonight: I laid down next to her.  She first offered me her blankie, which I politely declined.  She then tucked it next to her cheek and extolled it’s awesomeness: “It’s soft and comfy-cozy Mama.”  I smiled in the dim light, happy that she thought to share a treasure with me.  She rolled from side to side.  She had a few drinks from her sippy cup of water we let her keep in her bed.  She sat up and painstakingly rearranged her blankie on her pillow so that it would be on her cheek as she slept.  I smiled again, knowing that I, too, need a blanket against my cheek to fall asleep.  She reached her hand out and put it on my cheek saying, “I wud you Mama.”   I told her I love her too.  She tossed and turned and rolled over a few more times.  Aside from her proclamations of her love for her blankie and for me (in that order–haha), she didn’t speak.  Every now and then one of her limbs would find me, and whenever it did, she stilled.  She quieted.  She calmed.  She fell asleep with her arm draped across my forearm.  I was oddly awestruck as I gazed at her heavy blinks and had the privilege of watching her surrender to the day.

I tiptoed out of her room tonight marveling at these two sisters and their sameness and their differences.
I spent the afternoon at Dr. Wonderful’s office.  I got my drugs– no more chemo –drugs that aim to prevent cancer growth in my body.  As usual, the Chemo Room was healing and restorative.  I caught up with friends and breathed in the peace that No Evidence of Disease brings.

It’s the little moments, the bedtime chatter and the bedtime peace… that’s what matters.  I always emerge from the Chemo Room with a solid lock on what matters.  This week I’m grateful for the perspective to see and give weight and time and energy to the things that matter.  I pray for the wisdom and courage to let go of the things that don’t.


  1. Bonnie J /

    🙂 we should all that perspective everyday !! May that be our prayer today !!

    • I needed your perspective today. The chaos of bedtime and exhaustion from the day usually (or always) rattles me. I need to throw out my mental To-Do list too, and be present when my boys need those extra few moments at the end of the day. Thank you for your gift of words. I think our nighttime routine will have a different feel tonight 🙂

  2. Shari /

    Beautiful. Thank you for giving us readers perspective about the most important things in life.

  3. The letting go of that which does not truly matter in the big picture. Kudos to you for being able to differentiate; may that wisdom follow you all thru your days.