It is my favorite time of day. The girls are shuttled upstairs to quietly watch Clifford, and this baby/child and I cuddle in under the down comforter to watch the lemon light filter through the forest. The colors have changed already from early morning, hues of gray giving way to the tawny rust and umber of the oak leaves and the chartreuse of the spring pines. The world looks frozen in time this morning - no rustle in the leaves - and the coldness of the air visible in the crispness and stillness of the woods. Intricate veins of sharp white drawn on every leaf-edge by Jack Frost with his ice pen last night. Inside, we are surrounded by the instant comfort of the blankets, the billowing of warm air as the little one wiggles in delight over his morning bottle. Communion of warm milk and warm toes. I stroke the velvet of his chubby cheek, feel the fine spun gold of his hair slipping under my swollen palm. Note - and love - the almost Hasidic curls just in front of his pink ears.

Physical memory is difficult to ignore. My body is different every morning, more changes visible of the physical onslaught of this preparation process. My hands and feet are swollen and club-like; my hair is dry and falling out, my nails a cloudy white, and my knuckles covered with callouses; so tired raising myself out of bed in the morning makes me nauseous. I remember this. I don't want to do it again. Such a series of losses, this cancer. This time around, it is the loss of one more piece of me - my parathyroid glands - that I mourn; and the loss of the innocence. No longer can I pretend that I will float through this this trial like a duck's webbed feet just skimming the mirror of the water, a faint ripple left in a V all that heralds her presence.

Looking in on myself, I realize that I am depressed this time around. I see the grayness of my spirit, and though I paint all day long with a million bright colors of joy and satisfaction, the gray seeps through like the newspaper canvas of my 2-year-old. You can't cover up ink with different ink. So I take the gray and lay it at my Father's feet. Ask Him to brighten my spirit's newsprint with a few color photos. And take it away for what it is. Just as I am, without one plea. I know more watercolor days are coming again in April.