Hello Again

23 Nov

I had to look back to see the last time I wrote a blog, and it was July, just after I got the results telling me that my cancer was still stable after 5 years; those dumb nodules on my lungs are not really growing or at least not growing very quickly. I’ll take it. Writing has always been a release for me and a way to process my feelings, but this year it’s been tough to write, and I think maybe it’s because I have too many feelings to process. Before, it was just having cancer 4 times, motherhood, divorce, a child with a life changing health event (which was already a lot), but then the pandemic started and kept going, and I became an empty nester and then menopause, all the things politics, shootings, and absolute craziness. I have relegated myself to 3 bullet points in a journal highlighting 3 specific things I am thankful for each given day and sometimes that’s even hard. I recently read a book by Susan Cain called Bittersweet and boy did that speak to me. It’s a book about people with a more melancholic personality, ‘a tendency to states of longing, poignancy, and sorrow; an acute awareness of passing time; and a curiously piercing joy at the beauty of the world.’…Bitter and sweet are forever paired. Remember my word for this year was ‘AND’ because life was beautiful AND brutal, light AND dark? This book was validating and so me.

What does it look like as a Stage 4 cancer fighter on her 4th recurrence in 14 years to have an acute awareness of passing time? Pretty shitty, and yet…And yet there is so much beauty. And yet there is so much love from friends and family members and sometimes even strangers. And yet the time we do get to spend with family and those closest to us seem even sweeter, so although we don’t necessarily like ‘just be grateful and move on’, we can be grateful for another breath to keep moving forward. Moving on is different than moving forward. It also helps to seek out those things of beauty and be purposeful when it comes to finding joy.

I miss my kids. Being an empty nester is bittersweet to me, it’s great until it’s not. I’m happy they are all thriving and growing to be amazing adults, but there are days when the ache in my heart to see them, hug them and be around them is so overwhelming I can’t catch my breath. It doesn’t help that seeing them requires at least a 3-hour airplane ride and 2 of them are currently in two different time zones. And yet, they are thriving. And then, I remember my mom having to let go of me and my brother as we grew up and moved away; and her mother saying goodbye to her as she and my dad moved to the US, a different country; those who’ve had to send their kids off to war, and of course those who’ve lost a child, so many goodbyes and yet…

Tomorrow will be my first Thanksgiving EVER not having at least one of my kids here and not gonna lie, I’m pretty sad (although I got to see and spend time with my oldest last weekend). It’s the ‘take my breath away if I think too much about it’ sad but it’s just a day and I’ll see them soon. Also, that acute awareness of time plus having cancer is not cool. So tomorrow I may still cry, but it will be that perfect mix of sadness they’re not here and gratitude for life and living.

I’ve had lots of conversations about faith over the past few months and it’s been quite the journey. Here’s what I know, because of the pandemic, all the things happening in the world (including our own backyard), all the divisiveness, cancel culture, etc., people are asking questions. People are searching for truth but not pat phrases, bible verse responses, religious lingo, Christian-ese, etc…Truth in ACTION. Love in ACTION. Kindness in ACTION. Is that a tall order? I hope not. I will never abandon my faith, but I will continue to question rules that are manmade, those whose actions don’t match the love they speak about, and words and stories taken out of context to ‘win’ something when there are no winners and losers, just people trying to feel like they matter and that are loved. How do we love like Jesus? I’ll stick with that.

Thanks for reading. Happy Thanksgiving!

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