I believe that I have family watching over me. I always have. I've been the kid that wanted to be able to talk to and see ghosts for as long as I remember but alas - never happened. But I truly believe that all of the family that went before me, even those I never met, watch over me, and they are in charge of different things. One time in boot camp (don't get all Alyson Hannigan on me...I said boot camp, not band camp), I wore the wrong boots. In boot camp, that is not a fashion faux pas, that is a major infraction and I was terrified when I realized my mistake. I sent a request up to my cousin Johnny, who was a Marine killed in Vietnam when he was 18, 6 years before I was born, to please let the drill instructors not notice my boots and to let me be able to change them unnoticed. The DI's looked around to make sure we were all in our IBC boots, which I was not, I was in my jungle boots, and.... they didn't notice me. I was able to safely change my boots without having to go to the quarterdeck and I fully believe to this day that was Johnny's doing. I have many many watchers (I'm not quite sure most of the people in my family can be referred to as angels :) )
I started chemo on July 23rd, my uncle's birthday. I finished chemo today, February 13th, two days before my grandfather's birthday. These were the two men I was probably closest to for most of my formative years. My grandfather was my everything for a very long time. I idolized him until I grew a little bit and realized he was just a person with person faults and foibles, and lord knows I did not like some of his viewpoints and let him know it. We were the only two Aquarians in a family of Leos, so we had to stick together from early on. I can only imagine had he been able to meet my kids. He would have loved Jack but he would have been enamored of Amelia. My pop-pop died an exceedingly painfully slow death of stroke induced dementia - it was a long long ten years that I would never wish on anyone.
My uncle on the other hand, we could fight like cats and dogs. He was 18 when I was born and mentally probably a generous 16 so we sort of grew up together as a weird brother/sister kind of relationship. Oh, that man irritated me something fierce quite often but we shared many adventures and he loved me more than most, of that I am sure. He died of complications of type 1 diabetes that he had for over 40 years.
I know they have been watching over me and I pray that maybe since they helped the first chemo work so very well, they helped this one work as well too, and will help the coming radiation zap anything it is supposed to. I pray that even though I know they would be so happy to have me, they know that I am so very needed down here for these two small children. I pray that my Aunt Elaine, who I loved so much and who was so fearless in her younger days knows how much I have to do and want to do and and sends all of her goodness down into this medicine to make it work, and sends me the strength that she had in her painful older days. I pray my cousin DeeDee, who I know so desperately wanted to see her own 5 kids grow up, knows very well that 38 years, while generous compared to some, is not nearly enough time, as it wasn't for her, and sends her faith and good thoughts to work down here. I know that they, and all the others up there, know that I have many many more promises to keep, and so many many more miles to go before I sleep.