I have one son. But pressed into my heart are 6 "daughters." My girls.
Annie---my first, my goofy twin....God forgive me for the blatant lies of omission when people would tell me how cute "my daughter" was in the stroller, and I would just smile and say, "Thanks." Your words to "keep hope....you have to believe", working in the oncology field as you do, were vital. You see the successes and you make me believe that the newest protocols have merit. I love you not just for sharing medical resources, but for just being my goofy twin and shedding rays of light in our darkness. I know just how our hugs feel and how deep our love goes, so the miles don't matter.
Rach---I believe we are from the same embryo, split and born 25 years apart. We are rings around the same moon. We have travelled so many of the same emotional paths. We just "get" each other's fears and anxieties. You were the first to tell me FIGHT LIKE HELL, the first to remind me that NONE OF US is guaranteed tomorrow and that we need to live and love as if we were dying all the time. You were the first to tell me to get a hold of the fear or it will get a hold of me. You are my niece-shrink and my what-if basher. I love you for your unrelenting war against this in prayer, your "mandates" to me and your irreplaceable in-my-face support.
K-K-K Katie, Beautiful Katie---I know your heart aches with me....I feel it in every word you write. I wish, too, we could be closer. I love your advice about balance......my oncologist told me exactly the same thing. I am so sorry I missed seeing baby Hendy. I could just eat him up. I'm so happy you were there for D. I love you for all the sadness you are feeling about this, for all the endearments you write, for being mad, and especially for just being who you are. You are just so so special to my heart.
Gretch---When I hugged you and your "baby bump" goodbye last weekend, I wanted nothing more than to promise you that I will be here to see our newest Hieb addition and have years to love him or her up. We need no words to tell each other how we feel, do we? Your heart is so large and so transparent, and I know that your prayers are flowing for me. I'm not sure your law degree can help me much right now, but I am your PERFECT guinea pig to practice on for your next degree!!! You are so beautiful inside and out and I love you bunches.
Bets---the sweetest and gentlest woman I know. I feel all of the peace, beauty, lightness and courage you are sending me across the plains. I laughed SO hard at your "this is BS!" told in your frank, Hieb voice. Your words, "You are the kind of auntie that puts ice cream in oatmeal and those types of aunties are too sweet for sorrow," made me weep and be filled with joy that you are in my life. You have stepped out of your own dim places, sweetie, and you are my heroine. If you can, I can. I love you.
Madds---Sorry we missed the chance to see each other last weekend...your mom and dad told me how much you wanted to come and see me and I totally understand. I so feel your love and prayers and know that you are right here with me in spirit and concern. Every goal you score this season will give me more incentive to fight this insidious disease. I love you lots.
You are all such incredible women and I am so blessed that you all have rallied around me in this fight. And I will fight (or Rachel will drive to SD and kick my sorry butt). Anna, Kate, Rach and Gretchen, I want to be around to love on all my precious great nieces and nephews. Betsy and Maddie, I want to be around to see you both walk down the aisle someday, crying along with all the other weepy Hiebs (we are a pathetic bunch, aren't we?.....any one of the 15 of us starts the waterworks, and 14 others go down like dominoes).
Thank you, my sweet sweet girls, for your loads of support and encouragement. God willing, you will all get the opportunity to push me around in a wheelchair when I'm as old as Nanny! I love you all far past the moon, to infinity and beyond.