In September, my friend Madelyn called me. Madelyn works with Wishes Can Happen, and ever since Levi was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at not-quite-three-weeks-old, Madelyn has been telling me she wants to do a wish trip for our family. I kept saying no.
No, he’s not that sick. This isn’t only for kids who are imminently terminal, Madelyn said. It’s for kids with life-threatening illnesses. CF qualifies, for sure. And doesn’t he have to put up with a whole bunch of things that most kids never even think about? Why shouldn’t he get something wonderful, too?
No, he’s not old enough. Fine, Madelyn said. I’ll keep calling you. When he’s older, you’ll go.
Our family grew from three to four. Madelyn called again.
No, I don’t want to do a trip with a tiny baby. Fine, Madelyn said. I’m pretty sure she rolled her eyes at me, but we were on the phone, so I couldn’t see.
So when she called me in September, she was ready for me to say no again, and she came loaded for bear. He’s old enough. His brother is old enough. He’ll have so much fun, and you’ll have a lifetime of memories! And, she said … I REALLY WANT TO DO THIS! Stop being stubborn.
And I said … yes. Okay. It’s time. Thank you. Levi had recently had his first hospitalization, and Paul had recently lost his job. We were in a pretty major valley. We all really needed something to look forward to. Madelyn, I think, wanted to send us to Florida the next week. I did convince her that it would be even better in February. Let’s face it, is there anyone in Ohio who couldn’t use a little sunshine in the middle of February?
And so, here we are, just a little over two weeks away from an amazing trip that I can’t quite believe we’re going to take. There’s a red and black paper chain hanging in the kitchen, and every night we tear off one link, and count the rest. We got a welcome pamphlet in the mail today from the village where we’re staying. (More on that later. Wow.)
I’m really starting to believe it. We’re goin’.