"You can take a road that gets you to the stars. I can take a road that will see me through."
"Well, I'm glad you're still here," she says. And just like that, she pours out the love and dispenses salted caramel chocolate biscotti - always. I'm always glad to have spent time in her company and we talk, we laugh, we pray and sometimes we cry. She offers me acceptance, pure and simple and in this moment, I am glad I am still here too.
Sometimes it feels like waiting is all I've known in recent years. There's been a lot of waiting with Jasmine. Waiting for hospital appointment cards, waiting for surgery instructions, waiting for treatment plans, waiting in hospital corridors and too small windowless rooms. Waiting for scans, for results. And the wait and see if she's grown, if the cancer's come back - or not.
We talk about how everything happens for a reason, how everything happens in God's time, how there is a plan and if it's meant to be, it happens. If it's not, it's because it's not time yet, or it simply isn't meant to be. I wonder if there really is a reason for everything and I'm not sure there is, not sure there isn't. I think sometimes things just are the way they are. I don't ask "why" too much because some things I just never am going to know the answer to and I could drive myself crazy trying to understand. I simply don't understand why children get cancer, and die, every single day.
Finn, Jas and I stretch out our bare toes together in front of us and cuddle up for movie night. We make popcorn, we throw a blanket over us and we talk about feeding the right wolf. We embraced this wolf thing after watching Tomorrowland.
So when she finds me and she can't put reason to what troubles her and there are no words for what she doesn't understand but the pain of it threatens to engulf her; when she finds me and her voice is small and she snuggles in and whispers "the wrong wolf is winning." In that instant she doesn't need to say anymore and I can hold her in it for a time, then together we'll chase the wolf away and give victory back to the right wolf. Finn can ask me, "which wolf is winning today?" and it grounds me to think about what I'm grateful for and there is always, always something to be grateful for.
We are living a snapshot of life that isn't the most comfortable, easy or happy. It's broken pieces all laid out in front of me and like a jigsaw puzzle, some pieces fit when you try them and some don't. Some pieces I just have to wait to rebuild and that friend and I try and figure out what it is I'm supposed to be doing, learning, and living in this waiting time.
As I rest in that friends company who says I'm glad you're still here, we crunch on our biscotti, sip the coffee and I'm grateful that she's right here with me taking the road that will see me through and learning to wait well.