Tuesday, July 5, 2016
"Next time I come back here, I could actually be healed"... (Rowan's last 24 hours in Texas)
Knowing that he would be gone for the next 4-6 months, Rowan had a lot to accomplish on his last day at home in Texas.
First, he went to say goodbye to the doctor he has been with the longest, and some of his nursing staff. We would not have made it this far without people like this caring for Rowan over the past 9 years.
Next, Rowan met one of his best Army buddies from the Texas National Guard, David. We met at Rowan's favorite French fry place, Dickey's BBQ. David had an amazing gift for Rowan. He gave him his lucky turtle charm that had gone through 2 deployments with him- to Afghanistan and Egypt. David wanted Rowan to carry it on his journey to Seattle next, for good luck. It is so special, and Rowan was honored to receive it.
Rowan wanted to hang it from the rearview mirror, right next to Jalene's princess charm from her last graveside gathering.
Next, Rowan shared gifts with his best friend and home nurse, Cindy. Cindy has spent every weekday with Rowan (except when he is in the hospital) for over 7 years! They have so many special games and traditions, and spend more time together than with anyone else. We knew how much they were going to miss each other, so Rowan put together a box of some items that would remind her of all of their favorite past-times. Cindy loved it and of course cried:)
Then one of Rowan's "other mothers" came out to the house to visit him, Jalene's Mommy, Jen. They have a special bond too. She was desperately trying to figure out how she could miss work, get in the car and go with Rowan to Seattle.
The next visitors are new friends, but very special friends. Jon from GenCure and his son came out to swim with Rowan, and boy did they all have fun! Rowan really wants to help Jon and everyone at GenCure, Be the match and the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center sign up as many bone marrow registry donors as possible. At the pool, Rowan told Jon that his new "lifetime goal" is to get a million people signed up. Watching these two jump in the pool together, as Rowan's last jump in the pool before transplant...made me think how unstoppable a team they were. And I am confident they WILL in deed meet or exceed Rowan's lifetime goal.
Rowan's big brother Ian swam with him too, to say these two are going to miss each other is a HUGE understatement.
The amazing night was far from over...the next visitor was Lorraine, Chrissie's Mommy...Rowan's other, "other Mother":) He has had a special connection with Lorraine for over 6 years now, giving her lots of priceless messages from Chrissie in heaven. She brought Rowan and I both lots of amazing treasures to carry with us on our trip. We can't thank you enough Lorraine for all you do to gather prayers and support for us.
(my favorite pic of the night:)
After the visitors all left, we played Rowan's favorite board game, Clue. It was Brian, Ian, Rowan and I, and our friend and photojournalist, Lisa. It was a fun way to spend the last night at home. The only thing missing was Zoe, but she had come the day before to spend time with Rowan and say goodbye.
Before leaving early the next morning, Rowan grabbed his guitar as a last minute item he wanted to bring along.
He hugged everyone goodbye, long and hard...
We took a few last minute selfies...
And pulled out of the driveway for the last time in a long while...
Rowan sighed really big and told me..."Next time I come back here, I could actually be healed."
I hope and pray so Rowan, I really do.
Thank you to everyone who came to wish Rowan well and say goodbye. He had a very special last 24 hours at home. We cherish the presence of each of you in our lives, and cannot wait to come back to celebrate with everyone...once he IS healed!!!!!