The other night, as we arrived at home I asked Squink what he thought tomorrow was… he turned to look at me as if trying to discern if that was a trick question.
I smiled at him and said “It is so many days until your birthday”
He smiled and then replied with “And yours is tomorrow!”
I asked him how old he thought I would be (this was the trick question)…
He looked at me, squinted his eyes a bit. Said “56?”
I shook my head to say no.
He replied “60’s?”
I shook my head no, again.
He opened his eyes wide and said “70’s?”
I smiled, how wonderful to be so young and so unaware of what those numbers can mean to an adult.
I smiled at him, patted his head and told him it was in the 40’s.
He paused thoughtfully.
Then he changed the topic, in that way that children do that is more about the swirling of thoughts in their brain than the desire to change the subject.
~ ~ ~
So I awoke this morning with sweet birthday wishes from Squink, who came to jump in bed with me and offered what may be the best birthday present a mother could have; The Birthday Snuggle… complete with singing and kisses on the nose.
A gentle quiet reminder of something that is very special.
We got ready, ate breakfast, and then opened the door.
And we had this most amazing sunrise greet us as we left our home.
The sky was full of pinks, and blues and yellows and orange, with that kind of cloud cover that makes the colors ever so much more vibrant. I tried to take a picture from our front porch, to no avail. But Squink and I stoop looking at the sky being so grateful for such glory. I managed to get another picture that shows more of what I saw when stopped at a stop sign a few blocks from my home.
|This is the best my phone camera could do.
I have to admit that when I saw it and was in such awe that I thanked God for such a beautiful birthday gift. I experienced something that felt like it was intended specifically for me and that could be shared with others. Which seems so completely selfish, but that is how I felt for a brief flash of time as I stood there.
Navigating life now is different. Complex. I am in a very different place from any other time in my life. I am really struggling with the whole diagnosis thing. I don’t know where to fit it in, I suppose.
I don’t know what to say. Am I a survivor? I mean, that size was under one millimeter… to say it was caught early is certainly true… but it is super micro early. My doctor told me in his thirty plus years of practice that he had only three patients that fit in this super early phase. The kind of phase where the only intervention is surgery. There is a kind of disbelief in that, for me anyway.
As I experience my body heal, I am struck by just how intense a process it actually is. I am constantly aware of my incision (can I even call it a scar yet, as it has not fully formed?). It is a feeling that is so constant that I am left to wonder if this will be my new normal, that in time I will adjust to the tight, sore, prickly, ache in my belly.
I keep asking what my lesson here, in the entirety of this situation, is and I have no idea. There is no concrete thought about what it is, what it might be, and perhaps most disappointing of all is that I don’t even know what it should be.
Though, now that I have written this down I wonder if that might not be it. A need to shed a need for guidance and lessons from things and circumstance. Which seems ridiculous to think now that I write THAT down.
I lead a very happy life. I am grateful that I am here, today, in this moment. That I am able to love the people I do love, that I can like the people that I do like, and if I dig in a little that I can even dislike the people I do dislike.
~ ~ ~
One of the stories that has stuck with me is a story about how Sandra Day O’Connor did not reveal that she was in the midst of a breast cancer diagnosis/treatment when she was nominated to SCOTUS. The reason, as I was told, was because there is such a misconception of the disease that she KNEW that if congress knew about it that she would not get the nomination. many people have assured me that this is a true story, but none of them were Justice O’Connor
This made me sad then, and even sadder now as I navigate a similar thought very different path. I don’t know if it is true, I have always wanted to ask her. I am even more especially curious now.
I applied for a significant position in an organization I belong to. I was denied the opportunity though, being told that my circumstances affected the decision not to interview me for the position.
I was public about the “circumstance” because I felt called to remind women that simple check-ups can and do save their lives. But that, caused me to not be considered for something (at least that is the reason they gave, and I have no reason to really doubt it but we do live in a complex world).
I am still very, very disappointed that I was ineligible to be interviewed. Part of me considers that I was discriminated against due to my diagnoses (which seems like it should be illegal, doesn’t it).
What this does really, is reinforce this feeling of “what” in this experience.
- Some might say I was being punished by God. Something that I doubt,
- Others may say I am supposed to love life and be grateful. – I feel like that is a place where I was strongly at before and am strongly at now – I feel gratitude daily.
- Others might say it is a consequence of a misspent youth. – possible, I suppose. But what isn’t?
I do try to navigate this whole situation moment by moment, though.
Perhaps it is a cacophony of lessons that are too numerous to reduce to just one big one.
Perhaps, it is just life and how life works.