after-breakfast mint

and so yesterday
i tried to push the snow off the walkway
with a broom and we got into the car
and saw each other’s breath inside it
and drove to the courthouse.

—–

leanne hates me.

she hates that i’m so bad at things.

while i bring home pomelos for her from the grocery store
and tickle her back in the middle of the night
and remember to always get her red lentils at the
ethiopian restaurant…

i forget our anniversary.
or don’t think about her birthday until the afternoon of.

i forget everything i’m supposed to remember.

but i just realized that three weeks ago i forgot
the three-year mark of leanne getting cancer.

totally slipped my mind.

january 11th.

just another day.

a couple days after, the photographer who came when leanne was sick
showed up again.

i love this shot particularly:

us below the former versions of us.

—–

how are you physically?  mentally?  the judge asks….judge judith,
magistrate actually.

excellent, i say, and…..pretty good.

she laughs.

and what do you think makes you a good big sister, she asks lydia.

i like gymnastics, lydia says.

perfect.

and then asks leanne something about adopting rena
and leanne tears up.

i don’t remember what she says,
i just remember the leanne in the chair
at the PETscan facility, slumped,
with the cancer everywhere.

and the leanne in the chair now,
crying and happy and ready to hear
that rena is ours forever.

magistrate judith smiles and says
we have another daughter
three years after we had one taken away
and we hug and shake hands and take a picture
and walk out.

—–

later, after beignets and buttermilk biscuits
with rhubarb jam and chicory coffee
and a waitress who just happened to be adopted,

we go to the denver mint….
just one wafer-thin mint…

and see money being made
and think about making value
and copper and zinc and steel
and dies and scrap and conveyor belts

and go to the gift shop
because lydia is collecting the state quarters

and i see a commemorative silver spoon that i would’ve bought as a child,
but instead i want a sacajawea dollar now,
and my father buys it,
and gives it to me,
and later i will give it
to her.

rena.

the boat launcher,
the bird come back.

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “after-breakfast mint

  1. M

    The perfectly complete family you so deserve to be. Beautiful. Congratulations.

  2. Naomi

    Tears of joy for the newly minted Weinshenker! I bet Magistrate Judith loved her job that day. And we love you.

  3. “the bird come back”

    just lovely, glad it’s officially official now

    and great photos, too

  4. Beautiful.
    Wonderful words, so glad to hear.

  5. Mari Ann

    wonderful news and images.
    happy valentine’s day to you, leeanne, lydia and rena.

  6. Hello,
    just wanted to say hello and I have been reading through your blog. I can only imagine the pain you all have been through. I had thyroid cancer about a year ago, they removed it and if it had been later I would have had to have radiation. Now I have a disease called sarcoidosis, it’s hard to treat. I have been on steroids for 5 months now. You have made me realize what I am going through doesn’t compare to what you have been through. They thought I had lymphoma at first, but with many test’s it was ruled out. Love the pictures of your baby! Amanda :)
    cakebaker35

  7. I was just thinking a few days ago that we hadn’t heard from you in a while. So glad things are official with Rena–and great pics!

    Also, now I want beignets.

  8. Fabulous news. I am so happy for y’all.

  9. when i come here and read good news..all i can do is smile. the photographs tell the whole story! here’s to much a happiness for you and your girls!

  10. Kind of a good anniversary to forget though. Maybe?

    Also, I love how Rena is grabbing your thumb as you lift her.

  11. Linda Kirsch

    What wonderful news – a long journey with a happy ending – although really, I think I’d rather see it as a happy beginning of a wonderful future for your family of four.
    With love from Linda (Danny R.’s aunt)

  12. Beautiful. beautiful, beautiful. Mazel tov. much love!

  13. Oh, congratulations!!!! I love the photos, and how happy you all sound and look. It’s just wonderful.

  14. Karen

    Hi,
    Although I appreciate that this site was not designed with the world in mind – I hope you don’t mind that we have tagged along. I was diagnosed one year after your wife with the same cancer, same stage. As I approach my second year mark with a few stumbles, I wonder how your wife is feeling. Does she have all of her energy back yet? Were there any spots left that they are monitoring? I know that they explained that after the two year mark it would be the same statistics of getting cancer as anyone else – so I wonder if she felt a sigh of relief or if she still gets a unsure moment before her scan? Does she only get scanned once a year now? If this all seems to personal I understand – and I know that now she has so much more to be focused on – as do I – but this week I go for my scan and when you mentioned that you forgot about the anniversary – I wonder if she did – so if she doesn’t mind sharing I would appreciate hearing her experience. Congratulations on the blessings in your life!

  15. Tim

    Congratulations — happy to hear the bird came back.

  16. When thinking of Lydia saying this in court I almost cry. A big sister with a passion.
    Rena is beautiful. Her eyes so curious and happy.
    All the best,

    Maria Loboda

  17. KBL

    I’ve returned to this post over and over, read it, reread it, perused the photos. I love it. I love this ending for you all, and I love this perfect beginning. Congratulations. Tell Lydia, from one oldest sister to another, that her answer, gymnastics, was perfection, just as she is in her new role.

    This is my 3rd year blogging. Your blog and one other was the reason I began, and I thank you. I also thank you for allowing us to share in your joy.

    Hugs and congratulations from San Diego.

  18. official feels so good.

    your girls are beautiful.

    you’re ok looking. :)

  19. I was thinking of you today, and thinking that little Rena must have had a birthday since we last talked. I’m so happy for you, and Rena, and Lydia, and of course Leanne.

    Much happiness and giggles and joy to you all.

  20. sarahg

    just came by again to see how you all were dong.. nothing new I see..but still such a great way to end it :) Blessinsg

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