Cari’s Blog #16

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Bucket List Guy: A story of love and survival

Today as I was getting ready for the day, I was thinking about how short life is.  No one really knows when their time is going to come.  A couple weeks after Eric and I had just started dating, they had pretty much given him 2 months to live.  It’s three years later.  Looking at Eric right now, you wouldn’t even really think he’s sick.  I’m not sure why doctors sometimes tell their patients they have however long to live. Truth is they don’t know for sure.   I know I’ve said it a million times on here before, and although Eric’s the one who’s gone through cancer five times, I could still go before him.  You just never know when your time is going to be up.

Anyway, I was putting on my makeup and getting ready and thinking about all of this, and remembered how I had promised Eric something.  I had to make that promise happen, and I felt the need to make it happen TODAY.  I immediately put down my eyeliner (one eye done, one eye not…) and went running down the upstairs hall to the edge of the stairs and yelled down, “ERIC!! I want to hold that frog today!” I think it might have taken him a little bit to process what I really said because I didn’t get an answer right away.

I know what you all are thinking. You are thinking:

1) She couldn’t finish putting on the eyeliner before telling Eric about her need to go to the pet store?
(No, I get distracted easily and end up stopping mid-project frequently)

2) It’s winter and all the frogs are hiding.
(No, they are not. You can always find a frog when you  need one)

3) Don’t her in laws have a very nice pond with some decent sized frogs running around it in their back yard and very easily could have just pushed this off until spring when the frogs came out again, and were hopping around like crazy back there, or pushed it off and hoped everyone forgot about it?
( I can promise you, waiting until spring was a bad idea, and I can also promise you, that NOBODY was going to “just forget about it.”)

I finished putting on my eyeliner, and googled the nearest pet store.  It was a very interesting conversation.

ME: “Hi, um…do you sell Frogs?”

Pet Store Lady: “Yes, we have……” (She went on to name a couple different kinds of frogs… I can’t remember all the names)

ME: “ Ok, well, this is going to sound weird, but I have this Huge fear of frogs. I promised my husband, who has had cancer 5 times, that if he went through this cancer treatment that he was scared of going through, I would face my fear, and hold a frog, can I come in and just hold one? I promise you I have no intent of buying one. I’m just going to hold it.”

Pet Store Lady: “You are more than welcome to come in, and hold all the frogs you would like.  That’s such a cute story.”

So….off we went to the Grafton Petsmart.  I will admit, that drive there seemed a little on the long side, and the closer we got, the bigger the lump in my stomach got, and the faster my heart started to beat.  We walked in, and couldn’t find the frogs, but did find the cats.  I tried to convince Eric that letting me hold a cat would be just the same, he didn’t agree.  I went back by the fish ladies and asked them.  The girl I spoke to on the phone was there, and she asked which frog I’d like to hold.  I let her choose my weapon.  She chose a smaller one for me.

I held my hands out, and hesitated a little bit.  Really on the inside I wanted to run away, but Eric said I kept my cool and he was proud of me.  He was expecting me to hyperventilate or something, since even hearing the frog noises creep me out.  The little guy was in my hand.  Somehow he decided to crawl up my arm a little bit.  I wasn’t liking that so much…..and then… HE JUMPED.   I squealed a little bit.  Frogs jumping at me is what gets me.  It’s what gave me this fear in the first place.  A frog once jumped at my face, and since then, I’ve been scared of them.  This frog was smart though.  He jumped, bypassed my face, and hit the ground.   At this point, I thought Eric was using my phone to video tape instead of taking pictures, and I wanted pictures to prove to you guys that I did it. You guys will not believe what happened next.  After the nice lady picked up the first frog from the ground, I asked if I could try again so Eric could get a good picture.  She found me one who seemed to be “sleepy” and I held onto him long enough for Eric to take a picture or two, and gave him right back, and went dashing for the hand sanitizer.    Eric looked at the frogs for a little bit and decided they were cute, I decided we were NOT taking one home as a pet.   We got back in the car, and I realized, Eric wasn’t videotaping at all, he was just taking pictures the whole time, and there was no need for me to hold the second frog.  So, I held TWO frogs today.  I’ve left the McLean house while getting shivers down my spine because I can hear frogs at night; I saw Mary hold a frog up to the window once while Eric and I were sitting on the couch and I hid my head in Eric’s chest and started shaking, and one time in college, I walked all the way around the dorm building to a different entrance on the opposite side from my dorm room because there was a frog on the sidewalk.    Eric says he’s proud of me, and that I handled today like a champ.

HOWEVER, I will not be holding anymore, and I stand by the fact that I didn’t freak out because I was in a public place, and didn’t want a bunch of strangers staring at me because I was screaming about a frog jumping at me like it did on my wedding day. (True story, Frog jumped out from under my wedding dress, and I screamed and decided we were done with pictures) I also didn’t freak out because I promised Eric I would do something, and I know he was scared out of his mind to do this last transplant.  It was a pretty risky one.  He put his brave face on and handled it like a pro, so it was my turn to put my brave face on and handle my fear as a pro.

(Pictures in order— First frog, Eric caught me freaking out when it jumped, then the second “sleepy” frog)