A day at the beach

When I first realised how ill L was, I constantly wanted to know how long it would be before she got treatment, then how long before she was better.  A good day made me feel recovery was just around the corner, but a bad day would make me despair and think it might be years.

In a short time I have learned that there is no way of knowing and that each day, good or bad, is just one day and not necessarily a sign of things to come.  That no matter how bad a day is, my job is to dust myself down and start again tomorrow.  And equally, good days do not mean we are over the worst.

Today we went to the beach.  A beautiful Northern Spain beach on the Atlantic coast.  L was excited at going.  We talked about having lunch by the beach, but L and her friend packed themselves a picnic.  We hired sunloungers and L stretched herself out in the sun.  We read our books and swam in the sea.  L ate her lunch and we then went to choose ice cream.  She chose cheesecake ice cream in a cone which was huge.  She ate every mouthful.  I lay on my sunlounger and watched her from behind my sunglasses.  I wondered how many ice creams I had watched her eat, sitting on a beach and how I never gave those moments a second thought, but took them for granted.  Now it feels like watching her cross the line in an Olympics final.  When she is finished I want to tell her well done, but I don’t.  I want this moment to be as unremarkable as possible, to remind her of those times when she ate ice cream or didnt eat ice cream and no one noticed.  I want her to taste recovery and that means letting her enjoy this moment just as it is.  A girl on holiday, eating an ice cream on the beach, looking at the sea.

Tomorrow might be worse.  Or better.  I don’t know and I have stopped trying to guess, hope or predict.  I have learned to live in each moment and be ready for the next

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