Shammond, Joshua, Kayla, Kathy and I are at Cascade Park a few blocks from the Pete Gross House. The kids are playing basketball with the park regulars. Reggie, David and two others are passing the ball to the kids and encouraging every basket they make. I'm sitting on a big rock, watching. Spent cigarette butts litter thicker than the landscaping bark around the base of my boulder. The spirit of play is so encouraging that I ask if I can have a turn.
I get up from the rock, wobble to center court and stand under the basket. When the ball is handed to me, my tears start. I am holding the ball looking up at the basket and my eyes are blurred from the wet. "Mom," says Kayla. "We play for fun." Like why are you crying? Because fun feels so good in my hands and I haven't felt fun for too long. I can't jump. My neuropothy and post transplant muscles won't propel my two feet off the ground simultaneously. In physical therapy, I'm working to jump. I got a goal to jump. I am standing under the basket and I hear Joshua say "Do it for grandpa Lloyd." And Kayla chiming in "You can do it for grandpa, mom." The kids know my dad was a state basketball champion in Illinois. They call out his name to cheer me on.
I fire the ball. It didn't graze the bottom fringe of the hoop. Joshua retrieves the ball and puts it back in my hands. "Step a little closer mom," he instructs. "You can do it mom."
I've spent the past three days in the family resource center at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and sent out an appeal letter to raise money for our mounting debt. I've heard my car is molded on Washington Island. the house is molded and uninhabitable. My tan team at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance says that I won't be able to vacuum or clean mold for over a year because of my infant immune system. Joe's doctor called and said that if Joe has Alzheimer's then he is not capable of parenting. The ball is in my hands and I'm trying to make a basket. I'm not crying because I can't make the basket. I'm crying because the ball is in my hands.
11 months ago