Aw shucks, thanks everyone.  It was a pretty incredible story, especially the fact that I first wrote about that license plate on the CarePage a full five months after the last time I’d seen it and then it was spotted again by friends within one week.  (Make sure you read the comment from Linda Yonkers on the last post.) And then it hasn’t been seen since! That was remarkable.

You know, I tend to be a very reality-based person, without much faith in, well, faith. But there have been strange — some would say mystical — happenings since all this began. The entire license plate fiasco was, without question, the most powerful of those. But there was also that moment, at least two years ago now, when I was sitting in the rocker nursing Austin and thinking about a title for my not-yet-written book. I’d been mulling the “Whoosh” idea, after the many CarePage messages sent by my friend’s mom, embodying our wishes being sent off into the universe. It also seemed to capture the idea that we had so quickly and completely gone from a happy, healthy, normal life to one anything but, and then, whoosh, back again. And as I was sitting and rocking and pondering all this, I glanced down at my boy who had fallen asleep in my arms and there, emblazoned across the chest of his pajamas, was a tiny airplane and the word, Whoosh.

Those faded pale blue pajamas are one of the few pieces of clothing I haven’t passed on to the sons of my friends, but have instead kept in a careful pile of “things to save forever.”

Oh, there were more, some tiny. Like when I once incorrectly referenced e.e. cummings in a CarePage entry that should have said Robert Frost, and the very next day as I was listening to NPR, a reporter was introduced as “Bob Frost.” And I first thought, “That’s weird. Someone really named their kid Bob Frost?” and then I suddenly gasped and hurried online to correct my non-English major gaffe.

Some were just creepy coincidences, like a few days after we learned of that new (but actually old) tumor in his left abdominal cavity, the “almost relapse” of March-April 2009, and one night Austin woke up crying in his bed. I walked into his room and he was writhing about, eyes still shut, and he mumbled, “Cut the piece out!” He’d been playing with scissors that evening, cutting paper into tiny pieces (one of his favorite activities to this day) so I’m sure it was that but still, I nearly died to hear him say those words. We hadn’t told the kids anything yet at that point. I hurried back to our room and shook Mark awake and said, “Do you think he knows? Do you think he can feel it inside of him?”

So, I guess I can just say that the world is full of mystery. And I’m okay with not having all the answers.

On another note, I do plan on writing more. I haven’t done anything to my manuscript since last summer, not like “this past” summer but last last summer. And even that was just some quick revisions in an attempt to add in the “almost relapse” weeks. So now I need to sit down with it and figure out how to include another six months of intense treatment without writing a 600-page book. Hard enough to convince agents and editors to take on the oh-so-uplifting topic of childhood cancer without making it a tome.

My mom and I have signed up to go to a big writing conference in New York City in the end of January, so I have three months to really pull this together. My mom, you may remember, has been working on a  young adult/middle grades novel for more than a decade and she just finished it last week. It’s about a girl who is diagnosed with diabetes, based, of course, on me , complete with a Jenny character and a Sarah/Dallas/Keila composite character and the requisite “Zach,” better known to anyone who attended Roxboro in the mid-eighties as Josh.  (Check out this old post to see what those days were like.) My mother had to assure me fifty times over that it wasn’t actually me and my life and my conflicts that she was writing about and when I read the first few chapters, I was finally convinced of that. The framework of my family and social (and medical) life is certainly recognizable but it is definitely fiction. I’m eager to read the rest though and to share it with those of you who were along for the ride.

Anyway, I know you logged on to see those darn treehouse pictures but I’ve been waiting and hoping for them to finish before I “reveal” it. Doesn’t look likely before Friday so I promise (really!) that I’ll post some tomorrow.

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