Day 12 // Summer Fun, Sun and S’mores!


The dreaded day arrived with much anxiousness as anticipated. Gia could not be more excited. Me? Well, I had knots the size of cantaloupes inside my stomach!

Camp Ernst was about to be invaded by the Three Musketeers and the counselors would be clueless on how to handle them. Gia had been counting the days to summer camp since school let out wanting to pack her bags on July 1st. Every year she lives for this one week – “the” week – and it always changes her. Gia is refreshed, enlightened and more mature after summer camp. What a blessed feeling each time she runs to our arms at Pick-Up.

This year was different however – for obvious reasons. And as much as Gia wanted to go, the desire to stay home was equal. Of course she would never tell me that but a mother’s intuition is always right. Sigh…it was me holding her back this year – or should I say that silly “c” thing. GRRRRR!!

My heart was breaking today in so many pieces. I successfully fit in a workout to relieve some anxiety after which a Target run was necessary for last minute shopping. Wanting to make this year special, I planned to organize gift packages that Gia would receive daily. My mind was on her all day causing my head to tingle – or so I thought. Would she be dwelling on mommy’s hair loss? Was she worried something would happen to me while she was away? Would she be able to sleep knowing that’s been a struggle since mommy’s diagnosis? Every deep, ugly thought crossed my mind as if a hurricane was swirling in my head.

“Breathe Beth…” I told myself. “Gia is far stronger than you are giving her credit for!” My brain needed a pep talk so I immediately switched gears. “Gia is tough. I raised her to be that way. Yes, she has emotions but we’ve talked, she understands and is a fighter”. Enough said!

I had a job to do – be Mom! Packing last minute items, reassuring Gia everything will be OK with my actions and ensuring she arrives on time – that was my responsibility. It was that simple. Just as I had been forging through my surgery, treatments and doctor appointments with conviction, there was no reason for a meltdown today. Nor any other day.

After making Gia’s bed in Cabin 11, talking with the counselors and exploring the area in which Gia would be “hanging” for the next week, it was time to say goodbye. Taking Gia aside, I hugged her so tightly whispering “I love you” in her ear. To my surprise, it was Gia however providing the reassurance – “Mom…I just want you to know that I will be OK when you lose your hair”.

My broken heart was pieced back together instantaneously with those words. Gia’s fortitude and spirit with all that has been placed on her is like no other. She is the rock on which my strength is built!

And my meltdown? Well, thank goodness the car was not far away because I could not hold it together…