Saturday, November 20, 2010

November 20, 2010

Someone casually mentioned the other day that now we can get on with a normal life now that chemo and radiation are behind us.  Interesting - it was very apparent that this person, although they meant well, has had no dramatic event happen in their life that was life-changing.  There is no normal.  Now at first we can have a good laugh about it and makes jokes about none of us being normal and so on.  But really, there is no normal.

On Tuesday we go to the doctor for Mom's scan.  This is the first scan after treatment that will look for any signs of the cancer returning.  This will happen every couple of month for the next five years.  Once we reach five years she will truly be considered 'cancer free'.  That isn't exactly a normal life now, is it?

when you are faced with your own mortality, and I mean face -to-face with death itself, you tend to have a different outlook on life.  Things you took for granted you seem to appreciate that much more.  But why do we need these traumatic events to do that?

My father has always said to us that it is important to take time and watch the clouds roll by.  When I was in college he would occasionally send me a note to urge me to sit under a tree and watch the clouds.  Even today I have been known to pull over on the side of the road and stand under the pine trees and listen to the wind going through it for awhile.

I would hate to wish any traumatic event on anyone.  But I would love it if we could all just stop for a moment and focus on something we take for granted.  The tree outside your window.  The birds busy in the air preparing for winter.  The snow falling and the miracle that is taking place under the blanket of snow, already preparing for spring.  Sounds like a hallmark card or one of those chain emails, doesn't it?  But you know - sometimes you truly have to stop and smell the roses or you'll miss it.

We drive the back roads to the hospital on Tuesday.  I know what the mood will be on the way to and from the test.  Then we go back on Wednesday for the results and hope for the best but prepare for the worse.  Whatever the results we will truly have a reason to be thankful not just on Thanksgiving but everyday because today is one more full day that we have with one another.  One more chance to say I love you.  One more chance to hug the ones you love.  One more chance to smell the roses and one more chance to look up and watch the clouds roll by.

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