I have to wait some more. I go to a window where I’m given my things minus what little money I had on me, they keep that. I go out to a small waiting room where I see my sister and her friend. I’ve never felt so happy. She is there, I knew she would be. We step outside and light our cigarettes and the rain feels just right. We walk to her car and she tells me how she threatened the man at the desk. She had paid my bail and then waited another four hours for me to be released. She went to the man every 15 minutes demanding to know where I was and why I had not been released yet. THIS is why you need an Emily in your life.
I’m out. We go home.
Things go pretty well for a while. We love our house and I love living next door to good friends. Kaiko begins to show signs of anxiety, she snaps at us if we touch her paws. She can’t go to the dog park anymore because she’s picking fights with the other dogs. Then she bites a child while I have her out on a walk. I shouldn’t have let him get close but she had always been so good with kids. He went home bleeding from the forehead and I was lucky to dodge a civil suit.
Time goes on and we are pretty content. Then my grandfather passes away from prostate cancer. Then my cousin is killed in a car accident. Then we go to Burning Man which is ultimately a very positive experience but it puts me into a tailspin of emotional and spiritual upheaval. One uncle goes to jail, one uncle dies of lung cancer. 9/11. In October I start having anxiety attacks and go on paxil.
Time goes on and things are okay. Jedd moves in with me and Em. My other grandfather passes away. We get the phone call while Jedd is still on one knee, proposing. We get married. One month later…SURPRISE!! I’m pregnant. Our landlord tells us they are selling our house and we have a month to get out. Emily finds her own place and Jedd and I move into a house down the street.We hate it. Meanwhile, Kaiko is becoming more aggressive. She’s fine with us but we can’t let her anywhere near anyone else at all or she goes nuts.
We buy a tiny house, a TINY house and a month later we have Elliet. Two weeks before she’s born we take Kaiko to the SPCA where we know she will be put down. It was one of the worst things we’ve ever had to do.
Things go smooth for a while. We have a second baby and Jedd is doing well at his job. Another uncle dies, this time of pancreatic cancer.
It’s 2007 and a friend needs help. She has a young son and she’s trying to finish high school and I’ve just discovered that her apartment is infested with roaches, the kind that don’t bother hiding. It was the worst infestation I’ve ever seen. So I bring her and her son home with me. She enrolls in the local high school for her senior year. She sleeps on our couch and her son sleeps in a pack n play in our bedroom. Things are tight! It’s supposed to be temporary but time goes on and we can’t find her an apartment. She’s with us for about 8 months and she becomes my little sister in every sense that counts.
One Sunday morning I’m hanging out in bed while my two girls play on the floor next to me. Elliet is four and Kenai is two. Elliet starts complaining that Kenai won’t get off of her. I look down and Kenai is face down in Ellie’s lap, the rest of her under the bed. I start to pull her up but she doesn’t bend, she’s rigid. It takes me a second to realize that she’s not fighting me, that something’s wrong. I pick her up and lay her on the bed. I scream for Jedd to call 911. He thinks she’s choking but I’ve seen this many times before, she’s having a seizure. I watch her lips turn blue while we wait for the ambulance. There are no words that can adequately describe this feeling. The world is crashing around me. When the EMTs arrive she is out of the seizure and they determine her oxygen levels to be fine so we take her to Childrens ourselves. She’s checked out and they tell us it was probably febrile (even though she didn’t have a fever). They said one seizure can sometimes happen but if she has another they will treat her for epilepsy. So we wait.