Saturday night we got together with some of our friends and had the party that on bad days I wasn't sure we were ever going to have. On good days I used the idea of a party like this to just push through.
So when we walked into the reserved room at the restaurant and saw all the smiling faces of our friends – family, really – it was surreal. The last time most of us were all in a big room together it was for an auction to help raise money to pay for Ike's care and hospital bills. These are people who love Ike like their own, who we love, too, and it was overwhelming to have everyone in one place laughing and smiling and drinking and eating and watching Ike tool around the room making himself the king of the place.
Sixteen months ago was when we had the auction, and there was laughing and eating and smiling, but it was different. I was terrified, trying to keep it together out in public. Ike was at home with a nurse. We didn't know what the future would hold. My husband had been laid off. Between the both of us we'd probably had about 6 hours of sleep in the previous 48. It doesn't sound like 16 months was all that long ago, but it feels like a lifetime. To be completely melodramatic, it could have been a lifetime.
Our mortgage was paid, our groceries bought, Ike's medicines procured, bills paid – all through the generosity of these people we hugged and sniffled with on Saturday (and through the generosity of so many, many other people, too).
And now Ike is trach-free, Steven has a great job, all of us have slept six hours at the same time, in one night. We are finding our footing. The bookends of these two nights are so opposite, and yet they're not, because both nights were filled with the determined and unyielding love of friends and family.
I can't believe we actually had the party I was too scared to dream we'd ever have.
Now, of course, I just want more parties. More. MORE!
What a wonderful night. What wonderful friends.
My lovely friend Jote took this picture. She now has to take all other pictures of me and Ike forever.
Ike investigates a poster (designed by the kickass and super talented Jenny, of Websy Daisy) from the bake sales and auctions from when he was so tiny and sick. This picture makes me catch my breath. It's been a long road, you guys.