Monday, November 13, 2006

Please don't squeeze the charmin(g)

I'm cranky. Could be that in the space of oh, three days, the rain did a number on the maple tree in front of my window, and it's now stark raving naked. We've lived in our house for six years, and in all that time, we've never really known what color the maple turns in autumn because just as it's starting to go, we get a mini-monsoon and whoosh, the leaves are stripped off and end up brown and crackly in the yard.

Well, they are yellow: a sunny span of orangey-egg yolk yellow with hints of good Wisconsin butter. Or so they were, before the rain stole the one-week show. But I guess I should count my blessings. Shouldn't we all?

So anyway, I've been thinking a lot about Sahara and all the shows she'll attend over the next month or so. And, of course, about all the people who are pulling strings, cajoling bosses, cashing in airline miles, and eating ramen noodles so the price of a ticket isn't so terrible, especially in December when the holidays are fast approaching. And it leaves me in awe.

But it leaves me scared, too. People, I know your intentions are good. Truly. But I'd like to ask you to remember that this is a 12-year old girl, and in all reality, many of you are strangers. Being 12 can be tricky enough. Being 12 when you are busy kicking a tumor's ass is trickier still. When you are 12 it is not always easy to tell others, especially adults, to take a step back.

Pray for her, admire her, adore her, love her spirit. Give her a high five. Cheer as she approaches. (Get down on your knees and bow to Amy, of course...) Just remember, she's a kid. Say hello. Introduce yourself, tell her where you're from, and keep it light.

If you are someone already in Sahara's world--one of her friends or family members from Cape or the surrounding areas, you'll have a better sense of what Sahara is comfortable with. But if you are a friend from the blog, the Rickworld, or another site, then please join me in treating her like you'd like a stranger to treat your daughter or kid sister.

Friday, I left work early to go home and get Sahara ready for physical therapy. We decided to run by her school for a minute and get her ID made - she's wanting to attend some classes as she can, so we want to have things in order. Everyone at CJHS is absolutely wonderful, so helpful and accommodating. Her principal, Mr. Meredith, was leading us down the hallway toward the library when...the bell rang. WHOOSH! Hundreds of kids in the hall, and I could hear them - is that Sahara? It's Sahara! We ducked into the nurse's office to stay out of the way, and before we knew it, there were tons of kids AND teachers right outside the door, pouring into the office. LOL. It was GREAT! Then a bunch of them shouted, "we love you, Sahara!" Have I mentioned how much I love these kids??? After the mayhem calmed down, we finally made it to the library to get her ID card made. We had a really great visit to the school. :)

We then crossed town to her PT appointment. Her therapist's name is Steve, and we all hit it off very well. He ran her through some tests to see where he needs to start, and he has decided to focus on balance first and foremost. She has good strength, despite all she has been through. It was a very good session. Got our appointments for next week and were on our way.

Saturday started off with a bang - a 9 am showing of Grease at the Town Plaza! I was amazed at how many people showed up on such a blustery, cold morning! We had so much fun, and we get to do it again tonight with a whole new group of people! Extra special thanks and eternal gratitude to Jane and Charlie Hirsch for organizing these fun events (you guys ROCK and we love you!), and to the Town Plaza theatre for hosting the movie for us. It was really special for me, because 25 years ago when Grease first came out, I went to that very theatre to see it. It was the first time I'd ever seen a movie twice in one summer - I was totally crazy for it. I remember buying the soundtrack album immediately afterward...and the rest is history. LOL.

The Sunday night Grease show was a blast. We were picked up by Danny Essner from the River City Rodders, in his candy apple red and white 1955 Chevy Bel Air. (Thanks, Danny!!!) Sahara and her dear friend Madison were SO excited! Shannon was a big chicken and stayed home for more football while we girls went out to party. When we got to the theatre, there were more classic cars out front to greet us, and it was SO cool. Got to see a lot of friends at the show, which was such fun. Gramma Dooley and Jennifer Hecht sat with us, and we had a great time! Danny gave us a ride home in the Chevy afterward, and I have some hilarious photos of Sahara in the driver's seat. I have a ton of photos I need to upload, and I will try to post some to the blog very soon.

Less than a month until the Rick show! We are so thrilled and honored by how many people are coming from all over the country to attend. Our town will do its collective best to show you a great time when you get here. I'm going to get to work on a list of things to do and good places to eat, and I'll post it as soon as I can.

By the time you read this, Sahara will have had another dose of chemo. Hoping for another smooth ride like we had last week. We have been so blessed by how well she is tolerating the new meds. She is so strong and so determined, and continues to inspire me every day.

With love,