As a child, visiting my Grandparents in snowy or hot and humid Philadelphia I never dreamed that I would take these solid symbols of daily ritual (my Grandfather's favorite three-footed salted roasted nuts to go with cocktail hour) and my Great Grandmother's dish that we used to have summer blueberry or currant pudding in (or hard sauce in winter) -- I have repurposed them both. The nut dish now sits over my head on a windowsill (where the cats can knock it down showering over my head) full of ginger and butterscotch candies (anti-nausea) and the other sits on the bathroom counter full of the multiple prescriptions I have to take every day just to get past noon. Today was a really hard day. I did not ever anticipate feeling as sick as I have done this past week (getting the flu on top of it all did not help) and I have a new found respect for my Auntie Nanny who endured chemotherapy for a decade (my Uncle says "you get used to it"). The children were rude and sniping, and I never wanted them to see me so out of control in tears and collapsed in a heap on my bed with tears pouring down my face -- hot on my cold cheeks (I cannot seem to stay warm, even with the heat on and a roaring fire). I remember lighting a fire for Nanny on the 4th of July weekend before she died (in Boston)... it all makes sense now. I hope I have the strength to endure this for my children, uncomplainingly. It seems unreasonable to ask them to come out of their teen-age self-centered shells and look at life from my perspective. I will march on. I am a brave soldier.