Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

Today was a pretty boring day.  A boringly boring day.  I ran in the morning, we did school, had lunch, did more school, did “homework”, ate dinner, watched the cat wash its butt…

But not every day can be exciting and full of fun, right?

I had a Japanese lesson today.  I learned some useful phrases.  “tadaima” means “I’m home!”.  “ittekimasu” means “I’m leaving!”  “gomen nasai” means “I’m sorry!”  I also learned that this is called “romaji”, and it’s not really a great way to learn Japanese.  They just kind of start us off with it so we can feel like we’re learning something.  My sensei is really cool, but a bit strict.

I was given five characters to practice writing and memorize:  ka ki ku ke ko (かきくけこ). Oh did I mention my tech friend taught me how to enter in Japanese characters?  That wasn’t easy!  And there are a lot of them!  Oh well, I guess I’ll try.

There is an anime convention in my area in a couple of months, actually, at the local resort!  When I found out about it I begged Sabby to go.  But she’s not sure.  She is all for my learning Japanese, but she thinks the things people get up to at those conventions can be a bad influence, like cosplaying, etc.

Truthfully, I kind of agree.  But only kind of.  I saw some lady on Youtube who was into “kawaii” dresses. It has another name, but that name has a different (and harder to explain) meaning in English than in Japanese, so I’ll leave it at “kawaii”.  It’s just cute, frilly, old fashioned dresses with lots of bows and headbands and ruffles and stuff, and I really like it!  I want to see if I can find someone with those kinds of dresses there!  Sabby isn’t sure, because they look expensive, but maybe I can learn how to make them!  Maybe I can take Sabby with me, and she can learn about it too!  What I don’t understand is the cat ears.  I just don’t get that.  Why would I want to be a cat?  All ours does is laze around and wash its butt.

But I won’t hold my breath. I love Sabby, but she’s not really too experimental.  I guess that’s understandable, given her background.

I feel a little bad for Sabby, if I’m honest.  She puts up a strong front, but she’s got a chewy center.  I hope she can find healing someday.  I’m not sure she likes how much detail I put here, but if she wants me to tone it down or stop, I’m sure she’ll tell me.  It makes a good story, and I think she appreciates that.  Besides, she’s important to me.

Oh well.  Wednesday approacheth!  And so doth September!  People call it hump day.  I’ve never been able to figure out why.

Love you all!!! ❤️

Hi, it’s me!  Lily!

So, Sabby read yesterday’s diary.  I don’t know why I keep doing that.  Maybe I want her to see it.  I don’t know.  Truth is, I wasn’t too hurt, but I was a little bit hurt.  I had a question, and she didn’t answer it.

Before school, she told me that she thought the Bible study was a bad idea and she probably shouldn’t have done it.

“Why?  Did you hate my question that much?”

She hung her head.  I’d never seen her quite like that.  She looked a little…  vulnerable.

“No, Lily.  I didn’t hate it.  I couldn’t answer it.”

“So you just shut it down?  You could have just said ‘I don’t know'”, I said, with just a touch of bitterness in my voice.  “There’s lots of things I don’t know, you don’t have to know everything.”

“It’s not that,” she said, with the same touch of bitterness in her voice.  “Your question was a good one.  It was too good.  How am I supposed to answer that?  Even ‘I don’t know’ wouldn’t have been a good answer, because then… then I’d be admitting I follow something I don’t understand.”

I was quiet for a bit.  “You don’t like to look weak, do you, Sabby?”

“I don’t care about looking weak, I don’t want to be weak.  Especially… especially in front of you.”

I was surprised.  “Me?”

She sighed.  “I raised Beth and David from babies.  Of course I did, because they came from me.  I don’t have anything to prove to them.  I’m their mother.  But you…  you don’t have to like me.  You don’t have to respect…”

glomped her.  “You’re my mother too.”

“I am, but…”

“Stop it!,” I said with a raised voice, and let her go.  “Just stop it!  Don’t you remember what I said to the judge?  That if I could get my memories back, I’d want you to be my real mother too?  Just… stop.  If you don’t know, you don’t know, but don’t shut me down because you don’t know something!  You see me weak all the time!  Let me see you weak too!  It…”  I sighed.  “It means a lot to me.”

She was quiet.  “I don’t know how to answer your question.  I…  I have doubts too,” she said quietly.  “I have faith, but…  I don’t always have faith.  I don’t understand it… the Bible, I mean.”

“Then why do you…”

“Because I have nothing else!,” she nearly shouted.  “I’ve got no other answers!  Life is hard, don’t you see that?  Of course you do…  Of course you do.”  She put her head in her hands and sobbed.  “Look who I’m talking to, asking her if she sees life is hard…” she chuckled darkly, tears in her eyes.

I rubbed her back.  “Do you remember that movie, Contact?”

She was silent.

I recited as best as I could from memory.  “Your species is an interesting mix.  You are capable of the most beautiful dreams, and the most horrible nightmares.  You see, Ellie, in all our travels, we have found that the only thing that makes the emptiness bearable… is each other.”

She looked at me.  I’d never seen her look so lost.  Then she grabbed me and held me so tightly I couldn’t breathe.

“Sabby… air…”, I gasped.  She relaxed her grip a little but didn’t let me go.

“No more Bible studies,” she said.

“No more Bible studies,” I repeated.

“But,” she said, “if you’re reading it and you get some kind of an answer…” her lip quivered… “tell me, okay?”

I nodded.

“I love my family,” she said.  “I love Dave, and Beth, and David, and… you.  And the cat.  But…  maybe you’re the most like me.  Or maybe I just want you to be the most like me.”

I was quiet for a bit.  “Being an orphan…  you haven’t forgotten, have you?”

She shook her head.  “And I never will.”

“The only thing that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.”

She sighed.  “I’m sorry, Lily.”

“I love you, Sabby.”

She kissed my forehead.  “And I you.  Thank you.”

We stood up, and school started.

Love you all!!! ❤️

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!  Yes, THE Lily!  Accept no imitations!

Late entry, and I’ll probably have to go to bed shortly.  This morning we did have a Bible study, and it didn’t turn out well.  I had so many questions!  We started with the first part.  “In the beginning”, and so on, and so forth.  I asked how there could be light if the sun hadn’t yet been created?  After all it said he separated the light from the darkness on the first day, but the lights weren’t put in the sky until the fourth day – after he produced all the vegetables.

Sabby sighed.  She rubbed her forehead and said she wasn’t a pastor and was too old for this.  She closed the Bible and instead got out a board game.

Honestly, I thought that was a fair question.  But I guess that was the deal.  We’d have Bible studies only if I could ask any question I wanted.  I asked, and the Bible study stopped.  Malicious compliance, I guess, on both our parts.

That actually hurt a little.  I asked a fair question.  But oh well.  Sometimes adults are silly billies.

After we spent some family time, I went over and spent some time with Liz.  We walked over to the convenience store and got some treats.  I saw Beth hanging out with her friends, but she looked sad.  I met her friends.  I guess they were nice enough girls, but Beth is way too smart for them.  They were ogling boys and were perfectly made up, and Beth was… well, Beth.  Poor girl.  Liz and I invited her to go with us, and she gratefully accepted.

We walked back to the house, and Dave offered to take us to practice driving.  Even Beth.  I didn’t mind.  We found an out of the way parking lot (not many of those around here, but lots of businesses are closed now because of the virus and because it’s Sunday, so we pretty much had our pick).  We took turns giving Dave a heart attack.  Poor Dave!  But we all came out of it in one piece, and Beth was surprisingly good!  Though she won’t be able to drive legally for a while yet.

For dinner, Sabby ordered pizza.  That’s not something Liz usually likes, but we found a place that makes a veggie pizza that doesn’t offend her sensibilities, so we chowed down.  Then we did homework.  I almost forgot to blog, but here I am!  Silly Billy Lily at your service!

School tomorrow!!!  Love you all!!!!! ❤️

 

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

It’s been a long day.  Dave and Sabby decided that we needed to get out of the house, so we took a drive.  There’s a large city near us with a nice place to walk and shop, so we drove there.  It was about an hour to get there.  It was fun!  There was some guy in a flowerpot in a suit that looked like a bush and scared us all!  I think we’ll be on YouTube!

I’m glad I was wearing my cute dress!  And had just used the bathroom!!!  That was SCARY!!!  We stood and watched for a while as a bunch of other people got scared too.  Some of those women are so excitable!  Screaming and squealing!  Like I’m any better!  I thought Sabby was going to fall on her ass – or kick him between his legs!  But she caught herself, and just told him he was lucky.  He laughed, I think he knew he was lucky.

We got some ice cream and they bought us some cheap but fun souvenirs!  David wanted a new computer game.  He got sunglasses.  Poor kid.

Anyway, we just got home, and we’re tired, but I think everyone feels a little better.  It’s nice to get out of the house.  Though that freeway is full of really bad drivers!  I’m not sure I want to learn how to drive now!  KIDDING, of course I do!  But it’s still scary.  I don’t know how Dave manages to do it without giving people naughty hand gestures!

Anyway, it’s time to do our nightly stuff.  Our hair isn’t going to brush itself!  Oyasumi nasai! I learned that!

Love you all!!! ❤️

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

I don’t have much time to talk because we’re about to watch our family movie.  Liz is coming over to watch with us.  I don’t know what we’re going to watch but I told Sabby to pick something funny.  She agreed that that sounded like a good idea.  Liz is here!  She says hi!  Or ni hao!  Hahaha!  She tells me I learned something useful after all!

Sabby still isn’t herself but she seems in a little better mood.  I asked her what her hobbies were.  She said she doesn’t really have them.  I told her that she needs one.  I mean, I’m learning Japanese (kanban wa!), surely there must be something that interests her too!

She said she’ll think about it, and not to call her Shirley.

Movie starts in a few minutes, so I gotta go!  Hopefully I can write more this weekend, school’s been crazy!  Church is cancelled for the foreseeable future, so I guess we’ll find something else useful to do.  Maybe we’ll have a family Bible study, or so Sabby tells me.  I’m not sure I like that idea.  They told me I only had to go to church, not participate.  But I can’t very well rock out on my headphones in a home Bible study.  Oh well.  I told Sabby that I’d go along with it if and only if they would allow me to ask any question I wanted, no matter how silly or… heretical.

She looked puzzled, but agreed.  She says if any belief can’t withstand questioning it’s not worth having.

Oop.  I hear the movie starting.  Gotta go watch it!

Love you all!!!! ❤️

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

I’m posting late, because it’s been a difficult day.  The other person from our church didn’t make it, and another is in the hospital now.  They think that person might pull through, but it’s hard to tell.  Dave’s been pretty stoic, but you can tell Sabby’s not herself.

I asked her why she seems so sad.  After all, we really didn’t know those people all that well.  She sighed and sat me down next to her.

“Lily,” she said, “I wish I could have introduced you to my Pa and Ma.  They’d have loved you!  But they were taken all too soon.  There was a car crash when I was a little girl.”  She sniffled.  “I was an orphan.  But some nice folks took me in…”

My eyes widened in recognition.

“Yes, dear Lily.  I’m paying it forward.”  She booped my nose.  “That’s why you’re here.  Well, one reason.”

“But why are you sad now?”

“I hate death!,” she said, venomously.  “I hate it!  It took my parents from me, and those people were someone else’s parents, and children, and… and…”  Her voice broke and I wrapped my arms around her.  “I hate it, Lily.”

I rubbed her back and let her cry it out.  I didn’t know what to say.

“Well,” I said, “nothing to be done about it, I guess.”

She sniffled.  “No, there isn’t.  Lily, remember these words.  People talk about injustice all the time.  Victim this and oppressor that.  Don’t forget who is the real oppressor and who are the real victims, Lily.  All of us.  Death will take all of us… someday.”

I frowned.  “But we’re alive now.  Why think about the future?”

“I don’t.  Usually.  But then someone up and dies…  why do the people in our church have to be so stubborn?  Why couldn’t they just have gotten the shot?  They might still be here then…”

I thought.  “Stay right here, I need to get something.”

I went upstairs and grabbed my hairbrush.  I sat back down next to Sabby.

“Turn around,” I ordered.

“Lily -“

“No!,” I said, a little more forcefully than I meant.  “You’re always taking care of us.  You’re always being strong.  Now turn around.”

She turned around and I started brushing her hair.

“Lily, my hair…”

“Can be done again.  This isn’t about brushing your hair.”

She sniffled.  “Why does this feel so good?,” she said.

“It feels good to be taken care of, Sabby.  Let yourself be taken care of.”

She seemed to want to argue, but her head was already starting to loll around a bit.

“Yeah, we’re all going to die, it’s not fair, I get it.  But here’s something to enjoy.  Just enjoy it.”

After a few minutes, she turned around and hugged me.

“Feel better?,” I asked.

“Not really,” she said.  “But you’re right.  It’s nice to be taken care of.  Thank you, Lily.”

I smiled.  “I know when it comes your time, you’ll kick death between the legs just like that Karen.”

She busted out laughing, and fell off the couch.

“Ow, Lily!  That hurts!”

“But you laughed!”

She chuckled and wiped her eyes.  “I did.  Now scootch off and let me make dinner.”

And she did.  It was, as always delicious.

Now it’s off to brush Beth’s hair.

Love you all!!! ❤️

One of the people from our church with the virus died today.

Obviously there won’t be a funeral.  Dave and Sabby are very sad.  They didn’t know the person well, but they talked every now and then.

The other person is still hanging on but isn’t doing well.  Several other people from our church caught it, but they’re doing okay for now.

I don’t feel like writing now.  Maybe I’ll be a happy Lily tomorrow.  Tonight I’m thinking about death.  And I don’t like it.

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

I had a hard time keeping my mind on school.  I know!  Me, right?  Sweet, studious Lily?  Pfft.  Silly Billy Lily is more like it most days.  But today I’m kind of sad.

I know I don’t know how things were pre-virus, but I know how they are now, and I hate to see how sad it makes Sabby.  I mean, she tries to hide it, and she tries to live life normally, but I can see it wears on her sometimes.  I think it wears on Dave, too, but differently.  Beth can still see her friends and her life is about as normal as they can make it, but even she feels the impact sometimes.  It’s like things will never get better, and every time it looks like it’s going to, something else hit.

So this morning I found Sabby making breakfast.  I think sometimes she cooks to take her mind off things.  And she’s a good cook!  But her mind seemed elsewhere.  So I walked up behind her, turned her around, and gave her a big hug.

“What’s that for?,” she said, seeming puzzled.

“You’ve been there for me when I’ve been sad,” I said.  “And you seem sad.  Can I be there for you?”

“I’m your -”

“You’re someone who needs to cry,” I said simply.  And I felt her body start to shake.  I was right.  After a minute or two, she sniffled and wiped her eyes.  “How did you know?,” she asked, turning back to breakfast.

“I know crying,” I said, “And I know when someone needs to cry.  Particularly -“, I choked up a bit myself.  “Particularly someone I love.”

“Oh Lily!”, she said, and scooped me up in the biggest motherly hug I could ever want.  “Don’t ever change,” she sniffled.  “Please don’t ever change.”  She rubbed my head.  “I need to finish breakfast.”

“Don’t hold it in,” I said.  “You don’t have to be strong for me.”

“I do,” she said, simply.  “If not for you, then for everyone else.  I have to…  be strong.”  Her lip was quivering.  “But I know what you’re trying to say.  I don’t have to be strong all the time.”

I nodded.  “You don’t.  You just have to be my mother.”

I think our breakfast was seasoned with a few tears this morning.  It was still delicious.

Love you all!!! ❤️

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

Lily is still a little sad today. 

Last night, Dave and Sabby ordered dinner in.  They knew the people who had the virus, and were a little sad themselves, so we didn’t go anywhere and Sabby didn’t feel like cooking.  She did the dishes and went to bed early.

Life with the virus is kind of normal to me because I didn’t have any memories before, but it’s still sad to see how people are affected.  A lot of people in my church didn’t want to get vaccinated, they had some good arguments and some bad arguments, but now several people are in the hospital fighting for their life.  And for what?  Sabby was very insistent that we get vaccinated – and my social workers made sure I got it too.  I was a little sick for a while, but got over it.

So now we wait.  We wait to see if other people at church get it, and we wait to see if these people recover.

I don’t understand life, but I hate death, and I hate the virus.  I want to Lily-stomp it, like Sabby did to that Karen.  But what are we to do?  We’ll just live our lives as best we can and hope for the best.

I went to bed early too.  Beth knocked on my door and asked if she could join me.  She didn’t want to be alone.  I let her.  We snuggled up and said goodnight.

I was half asleep when I felt Beth shuddering.  She was crying!  Poor Beth.  It’s been hard on her, this virus thing.  So I just held her tighter and let her cry.  Finally, she fell asleep.

I couldn’t, though.  What else is going to happen to us? To the world?

At least she smelled nice.  It was nice to finally fall asleep with the smell of her hair in my nose.

Today was just school.  Beth gave me a hug this morning and thanked me for letting her cuddle me.  I kissed her forehead and told her I love her.  She smiled, and then went off to do her schoolwork.

Love you all!!! ❤️ And remember every day could be your last 🙁

Hi!  It’s me, Lily!

But today it’s a thoughtful Lily.

Church was cancelled today.  Apparently a couple of people ended up with the virus that’s going around, and they are seriously ill.  They might die.  It’s true they are older people, and no one else seems to have come down with it lately, but it’s still sad.

I don’t understand church, or God.  I really don’t.  I mean I go to church, and I listen to the message, and sometimes it’s a very nice message.  They say that God loves us, they say that God saves us, they say that he even sent his son to save us.  But then people come down with viruses and get sick or die.  What kind of love is that?  Why do they tell us that God loves us and then people suffer and get sick or get hurt or all that?  I kinda sorta understand the argument that when someone hurts someone else it’s their fault.  But viruses aren’t peoples’ faults.  They just are, and they try to kill us, and God must have created them too, right?

So today, we’re home.  We’re not “quarantined” yet because we didn’t have extended close contact, but we did have to go get a test.  It was negative, thankfully.  But it could have been positive.  I know we’ve all been vaccinated, but I don’t want to lose Dave or Sabby or Beth or even David!  It’s not fair!

Happy thoughts, Lily.  Happy thoughts.  But I don’t have many happy thoughts today.  Maybe Dave taking us for driving practice will help me forget.  Maybe.  I guess I should shower.

Love you all!!! ❤️