Little Summer Storms

Blossom Umbrella, Erte' (1892-1990)

Alright. I’ll admit it. Sometimes it’s hard, even when overall, things are going really, really well.

Last time I was in treatment, Little J was three. He couldn’t express how he felt about what was happening to me, so when he was scared, he would hit me or refuse to leave my side. This time, he can verbalize his fear, and it comes out as anger.

“Mommy, get OUT of bed and come to the fair! Mommy, I am mad that you are sick. It is YOUR fault.”

Heartbreaking as it is, this is actually a good thing. The fact that he knows he is mad and why, and isn’t afraid to say it, means that he is processing his emotions, not stuffing them down somewhere. In these moments of fury, he’s a little storm that has been brewing and, when it finally hits, leaves you feeling relieved,  if drenched and little sad.

After his outbursts, I pull him on my lap and hug him and kiss him until his tiny fists unclench. I tell him that it’s okay he’s mad at me, that I’m sorry I’m sick, and that I WILL get better.  He presses his cheek on my forehead and hugs me, then brings me his favorite stuffed dog, ruff-ruff.

He and Dennis had an action-packed fourth-of-July weekend. They went to the Sugartown parade, the Company picnic, the fair, swimming, the neighborhood cook-out, an outdoor movie-night, even bowling. Dennis sent me pictures of  Little J having a blast: on the Finn’s float, riding a horse, on  a carnival ride, watching fireworks, and we texted constantly,  saying how much we missed each other.

I made it to the parade and the cook-out, but missed the other events. This last round of chemo, my red blood cell count was really low, so I have weakness, fatigue, and heart palpitations. I think this might be adding to my sense of vulnerability. I was going to avoid posting until it passed. But taking a lesson from Little J, I figure it’s good to get it out, to share.

Thanks for being here.



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  1. jo Reilly’s avatar

    always here jenn – always!

  2. Ms. Miller’s avatar

    He’s not mad at you. He’s mad at It. So am I. But, you are showing It who’s boss, and Little J how to persevere, and all of us what strength, beauty and courage truly are. Love you. xo

  3. Helena’s avatar

    So much better to have it out than in, even as it hurts, and better to share than not, even as it’s scary, and so good to think of your cuddles with your boy, and all the goodness of those moments, which can make the hurt and the scary less large. In other words. I love the moments you describe with your boy and you, together, and thank you so much for sharing You.

  4. Sidney’s avatar


  5. Eve’s avatar

    Jennifer, I love the art you selected. I believe it’s a Hinoki Cherry (also, Weeping Cherry)…one of my favorite trees. Beautiful for this post.

  6. Jennifer’s avatar

    Hi Eve,
    I love this piece, and Erte’ in general.


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