As it turned out, Jesse was stuck in the hospital on Christmas of 2010. He had an infection and no amount of wishing would get him home for Christmas day. In January of 2011, he was once again well enough to go home, and so Jess got to enjoy Christmas with his family.
On January 29, 2011, he was still home between treatment rounds and Peter and Anna had planned a day of shopping and exchanging things. I was the lucky aunt that got to stay with the boys for that nice winter Saturday.
Britney and I came prepared! We brought video games and play dough and a few other crafty things. Anna had prepared enchiladas for us to have for lunch, one of Jesse’s favorite meals. We played video games and made all manner of things out of different coloured play dough. I have a collection of wonderful photos to document the day we had.
We played games while sitting together on the couch and the boys did impressions while we all took turns guessing what or who it was. Shortly after we had lunch and I was cleaning up the dishes by the sink , Jesse came into the kitchen and stood beside me. He leaned on the counter and looked out the window into their back yard.
“I like the snow,” he said. “But I like summer best.”
I looked at him and smiled. Me too, I told him.
He began talking about only having a couple rounds of chemo left and then he’d be home. He was glad his rounds were in winter at least. I said it would be great if he was home for Easter so we could do a huge egg hunt. He looked at me with big excited eyes.”Really? We could?” Of course! I said. I made him a promise that I would stock up on the colourful plastic eggs so that he could hunt till he was bored. He laughed. “I don’t think you’ll find that many eggs!” he told me. We both agreed on my new mission.
He said he couldn’t wait to be done his treatments and come home in time for summer. He and Christian had so much to do outside. I loved that he gave up video games for the time to come talk with me. I felt special.
When it came to middle afternoon we all gravitated to the table for a snack, cookies and milk. I was looking for a mug and asked where I might find one and Jesse showed me. I was careful to close the cabinet gently because it had a glass front. I commented on trying not to break it and Mattias piped up immediately saying that if I broke that glass that his mom would punch me out! Jesse laughed so hard! We all laughed. Jesse looked at Mattias and said mom would never punch Aunt Lisa! I told Mattias thank you for the warning though. Throughout the day we had many laughs and wonderful memories were created.
That Saturday is very special to me and I will forever cherish that time. That was the only day out of Jesse’s 10 years here with us that I spent with him without being at a family get together or in the hospital. That is a sad but true fact that is a heavy regret for me. Jesse’s brothers will know me and I them.
Jesse was not able to be home for Easter 2011 so we all spent Easter Sunday in his hospital room. We had an egg hunt and he seemed to enjoy it from his bed. I still have bags of bright coloured plastic eggs.
Jesse did make it home in time for summer and was in perfect health when he did. It just was not the home where he lived with his family.
© Lisa Bueckert 2012