On Saturday morning we set out for Virginia under inauspicious skies: For the last week all for of us had had the stomach flu; more troubling, Wally’s underlying health concerns- his weight, his frequent vomiting- had worsened nearly to the point of crisis. On Friday night, our bags packed, the boys asleep, Caroline and I leaned against each other on the couch and concluded that this easily had been one of the four worst weeks in the last six years.
So when we did finally head east, there was good reason to hope that things would only get better from there. Two days in Virginia, though, and that has not been the case. Wally, though clear of the stomach flu, is continuing to vomit at an alarming rate (two or three times a day) for no discernible reason. He’s dropped a pound in the last week. Folds of loose skin bunch on top of his hands. When he’s not being sick he’s downright Dickensian, cheerful and energetic, tragically happy amid it all.
Needles to say, Christmas will have a different ring to it this year. For a month we’ve been emailing with Caroline’s family about the fun things we’ll do this week- s’mores, a trip to the zoo, decorating the tree- but now with a trip to the ER planned for later this morning (to make sure nothing is acutely wrong with Wally, not because he seems in immediate danger), the idea of revelry seems as distant as summer.
I’ve thought about this post off an on for the last 24 hours. Often I try to abstract an insight from the events of our everyday lives. It seems off to do that here, both because the story hasn’t been told yet and because I don’t have much depth of perspective on what’s happening to Wally right now. But if there is one thought, it’s this: approaching a heavily choreographed holiday, I’ve stopped expecting the next few days to look or feel any particular way.