Wondering, Wanderung

At some point in the future, I’m going to look back and wonder if I did all that I could to help Max. The tricky thing is that helping him sometimes means taking him sledding, too far away from the heart hospital to make it back in time, and staying too long and playing too hard and feeling like a real family again.

Screaming with laughter through chattering teeth is one of the best things about being alive, being human, being a Rosenbaum.

My sister says that you don’t have to go camping very often to be a family who camps. Going sledding a few times means that we are a family who has fun, a family that enjoys nature, a family that can talk about maybe going next weekend if the snow is still deep.

When Max has a heart episode, it will likely be in the morning (as his previous night’s meds are wearing off), likely at home, likely with at least a few spaces available in the ER, likely with me present and ready with my overnight bag and deep breathing techniques for when they start the IV. I’ll probably be healthy enough to stay with him in the hospital; Tobias and Frida will likely be allowed an occasional visit. Max has a good chance of living through emergency surgery. The chances are slim of him having The Big One in those few moments per month that we’re sledding. The chances are slim that it will happen while I have a light cold that keeps me out of the cardiology ward, or that it will happen when Frida is minding him on the playground while I run to the bakery for snacks.

With all of this balancing, though, at some point things are going to fall. When they do, we have to remember why we made the choices we made: we could wrap Max in a blanket and put him in a box for safekeeping, but he’ll spend eons that way after he dies and this is the only time we can take him sledding.

One thought on “Wondering, Wanderung

  1. Yes! So true! And I will add to your very valid justification…one doesn’t have the strength to endure hospitals and IVs unless one has cackled down a sledding hill! Physical strength, sure…it’s doing him some good to get outside. But I mean joie de vivre. We’ve all faced minor hardships (much less than Max’s). What allows us to endure drudgery, ill health, hospital boredom, extreme-puking-in-pregnancy-if-you-are-Nan-or-Princess-Kate, etc are the stored memories of bike rides and spring daffodils and yes, sledding trips!! Bravo for your courage and continued life-giving spirit!! Feel free to weep, too, of course, but please never berate yourself for giving Max as many happy afternoons as you can.

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