Drive the Shadows Away

Today was the day the shower drain was filled with my hair by the time my shower was finished.

Like, a lot of hair.


I cried.

Rachel was there to help me, and she went to get Nathan.

He came running, saw the shower, and just held me until I was done crying, and then kissed me and told me I am still as beautiful as always.

And then I cried some more.

And then I declared today to be a time out from cancer.

So Rachel and I played in the toddler’s room, me sitting in a chair trying to get down toast while Rachel climbed all over my childhood furniture, and this is what we made so far:




It was amazing! It was so much fun! It was so normal, and made me so happy!

We didn’t finish today, but we got a good start!

And it was easy and good and happy.

I loved it so much.

And then I slept three hours, because it really wore me out, which is hilarious because all I did was sit in a chair while she worked really hard.

But when I woke up, the parents had the kids and Nathan had our supper, and we had a date night!

How sweet is that?!

In my pajamas and hair falling out and everything!

He even used the gift card from the care package to go get a pie, and made a whole sweet date night for us!

Here we are doing a cheers with some ginger ale!


I guess you can’t see, but my hair is thinning quickly, but lots still there. It was good to have quiet time together, truly.

And I made it the whole day without any fevers!

The parents brought the kids home, and we played with them a little before bed. It breaks my heart when the toddler reaches for me saying “Up! Up!” and I cannot pick her up. Five is confused why I am still sick if sometimes I can stand up now or sit in a different chair rather than only being in bed. We are all learning together, and trying our best, and happy for a better day with less pain and more normal.

We are trying to make bedtime extra special on the nights I am well enough to help, with extra cuddles and songs and tickles and prayers and stories and tucking in.

The toddler loved it, and I am glad she is comforted. I am relieved she wants to be comforted. We have come so far, and she really is attaching so well. It’s amazing to see her grow so quickly as now she can sing all the words with us while we tuck her in. Her smile filled my heart, and then I melted as we left and heard a little, “I love you, Mama!”

Five relished the extra attention, especially as we told his “gotcha” story since his “gotcha day” is coming up (the anniversary of him coming to our house). Then, after prayers and before we could tuck him in, he asked me for a slow dance.

So I pulled myself up as carefully and strong as I could, and did a small foxtrot with my son who needed to know I will be okay. Nathan sung our music, and five was so sweet and gentle with me. I gave one final twirl and we tucked him in, all smiles.

I really love these kids.

Nathan and I kissed Five good night, and then we very slowly and very carefully slow-danced our way out of his room as we sang:

Sing your way home,
at the close of the day.
Sing your way home;
drive the shadows away.
Smile ev’ry mile,
for wherever you roam
It will brighten your road,
it will lighten your load
If you sing your way home.

And just like that, with kids loved on and happy and asleep, we were back to date night.

I love my family.

Posted in Health Tagged permalink

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Drive the Shadows Away — 4 Comments

  1. I love your family too!! Blesses and hugs and many unceasing prayers!! Get out you lame stupid cancer, you don’t belong here!!!