Holy cow! I had no idea so many of you would actually come check this out! Several people have written me in emails and asked for mailing info for Jasmine. The best bet would probably be to send cards and letters to Jeff at Ronald McDonald House, and he can take them in to her. The address there is as follows:
Jasmine Van Steenberg
c/o Ronald McDonald House
4381 W. Pine Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108
The thing that seems to make her happiest is a card or a letter — Jeff said she really enjoyed those that were sent by her class.
I spoke with Jeff last night and he said she’s still in pretty much the same state. Yesterday she had another plasma treatment. She has one more left, at least as of the last time I heard “The Plan.” Come to think of it, that’ll be delivered tomorrow, so I should be there in time to hear what the prognosis is now.
Gabrielle finally let me in last night — or finally let herself show what she’s feeling. We watched “The Education of Little Tree” before she went to bed and after I’d tucked her in and was getting Nina down, she came into my bedroom, tears streaming down her face. Her voice hitched and she said, “I’m crying and I don’t know why.” I called her over to the bed and slowly began the process of helping her figure out what was bothering her.
We talked about the movie for a minute — there is talk about death in there, as both Little Tree’s parents and eventually his grandparents die. Little Tree goes to a mountain after his grandmother dies and talks to his grandparents via the Dog Star, asking if there’s some way he can join them as it’s “lonesome being left behind all the time.” She admitted it made her think about Jasmine, which was just compounded by her heading into an empty bedroom (usually shared with Jasmine) after it was over.
She cried for a good amount of time, telling me she missed Jasmine in her bedroom and that she was afraid Jasmine wouldn’t come home. What could I say? I feel strongly about not lying to her about what’s happening. So I told her the truth. There is a good chance Jasmine will come home, though we don’t know when. But there’s also a chance she won’t. Either way, I promised her that she would get to see Jasmine again, no matter what. She seemed to find some peace in that.
It must be especially scary for Gabrielle right now. Jasmine left for the hospital in the middle of the night and for all intents and purposes, disappeared from Gabrielle’s life, at least as a physical presence. I am hoping she will be able to see her, even for a minute, while we’re in St. Louis this time around. I’m going to push for it. It will probably do them both a world of good. Maybe Jasmine could use a reminder that there is a world outside the glass fishbowl walls of her ICU room.
So, another storm weathered. I wish we were closer to the hospital. Why couldn’t this have waited until we got back to Arizona?!