Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Chapter 10 - Cautiously Living

I'm thinking about living again. Pining for it. Actually planning for the future. This is kind of a new thing after 5 years of simply surviving. But its also fragile. I am reminded of that every once in awhile. How close I am to the edge of the pit. Yes,  you know the one, the "pit of despair". Where all is lost, nothing goes right and all goes wrong, ALL of the time.  Or thats how it seems anyway, in the moment. Thankfully the hopeful times are outliving the “pit”iful times. Only time will reveal whether my ground hog days of “normal” are hovering on the horizon or doomed to another bought of blah. 

I am approaching my second "canniversary". Two years since my last diagnosis. This is a first for me. I could never quite make it past one year before. Havent been this far down the road. Its a bit springlike. Spring in coastal BC anyway. Maybe a bit early, a bit tentative, but hopeful. Problem is, there's still the possibility of a sudden cold snap. An uncalled for snowfall in April that would cover their pretty hopeful flower faces, freezing them into submission. Thats where the whisper of caution comes.  Why it only takes dark clouds on the horizon and a hint of frost in the air to send me into a puddle of tears. But I am hopeful despite my broken optimism. I am pretending the future is bright, actually planning for it to be better.  Maybe this year will be our year of transition. The start of something new.


As me and Mike sat talking over the smell of hollandaise sauce, discussing our plans, Mike said, “It feels like we're starting over, a new life". Heaven knows we need a new start. Can we Please put this behind us? I want our reference points to be, a year before we "moved" instead of "4 years after Dad died", or "after my third melanoma"...... How small yet significant that is.  We use reference points all the time. But until the markers all become tainted by sadness, we don’t notice them that much. They are usually happy things. Weddings, births, vacations. So we are making a new reference point. We are moving. Not far. But hopefully just far enough.

We are leaving this house we have grown in for 14 years. Its the only house my boys have ever known as home. It has grown and changed as much as they have. There is only one surface in this entire house that has been left untouched. 4 walls in my youngest sons room. Thats it. The rest have had varying degrees of improvement, from paint to complete removal and creation.

Our house is old. And I do mean OLD. But good "old". We have square ship nails in our first growth wood, 10 inch walls and plumbing on the outside, because it was an after thought. It was unloved for a long time, but we brought it into its beauty. Gave it the character it deserved, as an old lady with charm should. But its time to say goodbye. You gave us a place to start, a home to grow in, but its time to find more peaceful pastures after these 5 years of pain.

It feels right, divinely inspired. Last August, when we finally laid my Dad to rest under a Dogwood tree to find new life, it felt like a completion. Everything came to fruition. A meeting of crossroads. It was a strange month. I met people from Dad’s life I hadn’t seen since his memorial. We had a nostalgic run of excitement at the garage with a water leak, a backhoe, a gas line and fire trucks. It felt like Dad was around again. There was always some excitement going on at the garage when he was there. And there hadn’t been that much excitement in awhile. Strange as it seems, it wasn’t overwhelming, it was oddly comforting. One last hurrah!

This gave me the fortitude and closure I needed to move on. Let go. Allow what Dad had given me, to help us go forward. It couldn’t have happened any sooner. I wouldn’t have had the strength or energy. Physically that was impossible.  Just the thought, raised a massive concrete wall before my eyes. But now, it felt like it was ok.  While I slept one night, someone took the wall down.  I had the ability to move on to step 539 of this Long process. I knew there were going to be another 126 steps to go, but dog gonit, I can actually see the finish line a ways off there in the distance. Please Dear God, give me the strength to get there. To reclaim my life once more.

The past 6 months have been chock full of man hours and changes. When I think  of all I’ve done, it’s hard to believe it’s just 6 months. I have felt driven. One of my newly discovered scriptures is "For God is the one who for the sake of his good pleasure energizes you, giving you both the desire and the power to act." Phil 2:13. I feel that energy! I have felt it sustaining me these past 5 years and I feel it moving me now. And I would not have survived without it. I can finally see the future peaking over the horizon, and I’m finally going to be able to use my power for the greater good, not just for surviving. 

Published March 11, 2015

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