I bought my children their first gift today, at a little shop in my neighborhood: a menorah, in the shape of Noah’s Ark. It’s painted bright colors, and has detachable animals–giraffes, sheep, elephants, with funny, friendly faces. Made of metal, so virtually indestructable. I’d been eyeing it for several years. It caught my attention, both because it’s beautiful, and because it’s the sort of thing I would have gone crazy for, as a kid.
I had a scan last week, and it was clean. This was month 8 of elevated ca125 + clean scans. My medical team is feeling less worried, and so am I. My 5-year anniversaries are coming up. 5 years, cancer free. I’m starting to look ahead, again, and make plans.
I can imagine myself as a Mom, pulling this menorah down from the shelf every year; making memories, building traditions.
At the shop, the cashier asks me if this is a “gift.” I don’t want to jinx it. I say “yes,” so quietly, that I’m surprised she even hears me. I watch her meticulously wrap the menorah, and each little animal in its own cocoon of bubble wrap. She places it all, carefully, in a white box, with a pretty blue bow. She says “I hope that you’ll enjoy this for many years to come.” “Yes, I will,” I barely whisper. I leave the shop, bag in hand, heart in my throat. I stare upward, lift the bag slightly and talk to the sky: “I don’t know who you are, but I got this for you, because I’m your Mom, and you are everything.”