Rowan’s Birthday 10-28-12
So on Saturday we went to Rowan’s birthday party at the Disney Hotel in the Cinderella Ball Room. The room was decorated so nice and the buffet was great. They had one set of buffet tables for adults and the other set was for the kids. The kid’s table was lowered to kid size and the buffet was all special kid food. Perfect.
Scott and I introduced ourselves to the friends and family of Rowan’s parents. Most of the people were from California and friends of Rebecca’s family or family on Rebecca’s side. Rebecca grew up in California so these were old friends of hers from way back. This was the first time for many of them to meet Chuck (Rowan’s Dad) and to meet Rowan. All the kids were excited to meet Rowan and spend time with her. They were all so darling. Rebecca’s cousin (Summer) and her good friend (Mary) set up and made the schedule for games and such for the kids. They did a fabulous job. The kids had so much fun.
The cake was beautiful! A princess castle with all of the princesses on it. There were flowers all around the bottom. When they brought the cake in the 4 ladies who worked on it were all there. They were very proud and rightfully so. It was beautiful and delicious!
Rowan arrived a little late because she was napping. It was so worth it. She was such a sweetie giving out hugs and kisses to everyone. She was so giving and sweet.
At one point I started to cry because it was so good to see Rowan and see her doing so well. Chuck came over to see if I was alright. It was just so emotional for both Scott and myself. I cried a couple of times. Scott had to leave the room a couple of times to pull himself together.
Rowan wanted to make sure her mommy got one of those flowers at the bottom of the cake. She gave away a bunch of flowers to the little girls and who ever wanted one. She posed for pictures. She was just the best little birthday girl. She had on a beautiful princess dress and in her goodie bag was a tiara that went perfect with her dress. She and I sat and did arts and crafts for a while. That was fun. She finally asked her Daddy if she could go outside. Chuck took out side for a little bit and then she was back and taking it all in. I was afraid that she was going to be overwhelmed by it all. She only knew a handful of people. Most of them were new to her. But she did great! She had a fabulous time.
I met Rowan’s Grandma and Grandpa who have moved to be closer to Rowan to help with her treatments. Or to help give Rebecca a break now and then. It is so much work caring for a child who is in this situation. The treatment makes them pee a lot and makes them thirsty and this makes them pee more. Night time is never a solid sleep time. Getting up every two hours is just the norm or maybe even more often. It’s so great that her parents were willing to move to give them the support that they need so badly. We have been there and the sleep deprivation is so difficult. You still need to be on your toes to do blood draws, give meds and other normal stuff too. The lack of sleep drains you so much.
Grandpa made me feel real good when he told me how much Rowan loves the Panda Pillow Pal we gave her. It was one of Kathryn’s and I felt we could give one up so Rowan could enjoy it. It made my heart so happy to know that she really loves it.
They didn’t get a chance to open presents at the party so they took them all back to the hotel room and opened them later. Some of the people from the party joined Rowan and family in opening presents.
Scott and I had gone back to our hotel to sit by the pool and relax. I was sitting there listening to the children play and reading my book when a man said to me that my book must be really good since I was smiling and giggling. I was enjoying the book. I went over to him and his wife and talked with them for a long time. I shared with them what the book was about and why I was reading it. “Closer Than You Think” is the title and it is all about people who have connected with loved ones who have passed and how to connect with loved ones who have passed. It’s about looking for signs like the snowflake I talked about. I told them about Kathryn and they shared a couple of stories with me. They lost a daughter at age 15 due to a drug overdose. A cocktail of Mom and Dad’s prescription drugs. Oh the pain that would bring. The man also shared with me about a visit he had from his dead Dad. He said his Dad appeared and scared his wife half to death. But he and his Dad had a 30 minute conversation. They both said that our loved ones are here with us all of the time. They also shared many of their vacations and such with me. Just a nice older couple.
So today we were leaving and we went over to Rowan’s hotel to say good-bye and drop off the prepaid mailer box I got for them and the packaging tape. Rowan was showing us her presents. I was talking to Rebecca and telling her that when she reads the inside of the book that is about the fish stealing the hat from the whale the name Christy McDanold is Richard’s girlfriend’s mom. I wanted to make sure she knew Christy gave that book to Rowan. She didn’t recognize this gift. I described the other gifts we had brought and she said I don’t remember seeing any of these. Chuck didn’t remember any of them either but he did remember a gift that could have been books and a little box too. That was it! He looked around and found it still wrapped up. Scott and I took this as Kathryn’s doing. Why would our gift be the only one that didn’t get opened the night before? We had made the plans at the party to come by in the morning. Kathryn was watching and listening and made sure that gift was not found or opened without us there. So, we had the pleasure of watching Rowan open her gifts from us. Chuck put on her little hat we bought her. A stocking cap with Minnie written on the front and of course the red sparkly bow and little black ears on top. It fit and looked very cute. Rebecca really liked the books and Rowan liked the stickers and the beads to make a necklace. She said, “Grandma can help me make a necklace.” She was pretty excited about that. Rebecca and Chuck gave us one of the music boxes that were part of the centerpieces for the tables. It is Disney with many characters on it. The characters are playing in a band and Mickey is the conductor and he sits in a snow globe. I was really surprised to get this beautiful gift along with a darling photo of Rowan in a frame.
On the plane I talked to a lady. We shared stories about heath care and having to be there to take care of your loved ones. I told her about finding my Dad on the floor of his hospital room naked and laying and a puddle of pee. I stopped by on my way to work and had to call in and get coverage. It was a terrible thing. I would not allow his night nurse to get near him as he was afraid of this man who apparently was mean to him all night according to his roommate. I talked to his superior and wrote a letter. No patient should fear the ones they are relying on to take care of them. Kathryn was afraid of one of her nurses (an RT) who was rough with her. We never let this woman in her room again. Immediately during her shift we had her removed from Kathryn’s case. We told them not to let her step foot in Kathryn’s room because she had really upset Kathryn. We didn’t even want her to peek in the room. You have to advocate for your loved ones when they are in the hospital. Trust is not something I have much of after dealing with my Dad’s stuff and Kathryn’s stuff. There are many good nurses and doctors but it only takes one to blow it all up. We have had a few bad apples over the years and that is enough to never trust again. The lady on the plane has a son who had heart surgery for a bad valve at 30 years old. They had a schedule so someone was with him 24/7 while he was in the hospital. Good idea! He will have to have this surgery all over again in 15 years. They are hoping that the surgery will be less invasive by the time he must have it done again.
We are home now and happy to be here. I will continue to read my book. I’m almost done with it. I will continue to look for signs from Kathryn and talk to her more. We all need to continue to pray for Rowan. She is doing great but the tumor isn’t gone. So prayers are very important.
Oh, I didn’t mention that they had Rowan tested to see where she was with her cognitive abilities thinking she would qualify for Special ED. No she doesn’t qualify. I can see that. She is very bright. She listens well, speaks well, can read her own name, follows directions well and is probably a little ahead of some 4 year olds. She is mature for 4 as far as I can see. Very well mannered and very sweet. Getting a hug from Rowan makes you feel al warn and fuzzy. Love it!
Well, good night. I have a very busy week ahead. I will be tutoring in the evenings Mon through Wed and fit in pumpkin carving, the gym, walking Princess and maybe some house cleaning.