It has taken me four months to write this post. Four months that seem like an eternity. December 27th, 2012 was the day that my life changed forever — it spun out of control and I lost sight of everything. Well, almost everything. In some ways everything became clearer than it’s ever been before. I’ve lost a lot in four short months — a life without worry and fear, the ability to create dreams for the future, my hair. But what I’ve found is love. I don’t mean that in a cheesy, “all you need is love” kind of way. Or maybe I do, because there is nothing else that is more important now than love.
If you’re like me you have always loved your friends and family, even though at times it may have been challenging. This love is there now in fact, but maybe you take it for granted. I know I did. The love that is present in my life now is so much more powerful. It’s rooted in my gut so deeply that I am often overwhelmed by the feeling of it. It’s demanding and relentless, my desperate and constant companion. Every second I spend with a loved one, whether it is a family member, friend, or even colleague, is weighted down with this feeling of love. I always want more and the sadness of someday losing it sends me reeling, grasping to hold on as long as possible while it pulls away slowly, quietly. It dances at the fringe of my fingertips, flirting with me in the most devastating way.
I feel this way towards everyone in my life, even strangers. This is more compassion than love I suppose, but it’s just as deep. I see things in a way I’ve never seen them before. Nowhere is it more present than at my hospital. I look around the waiting room while I’m there and secretly absorb the love that is all around. The elderly husband pushing his wife in a wheelchair, bending down to catch her magazine as it falls to the ground, her baseball cap hiding a fine wisp of hair. The weary mother of a disabled adult, patiently requesting that he speak with her in the hallway as he yells at her and causes a scene, her hand lovingly pressed to the small of his back. The parents of a little girl, her pale and tired form molded perfectly against her mother’s chest, the father bending slightly to brush his lips against the crown of her bald head. I wonder what we must look like sitting there, me and my husband. I wonder if anyone notices our love in such a way, these little details which are now so obvious to me.
One of the things that has struck me since being diagnosed with stage IV cancer is the need to live for the day. Being a planner by nature, this is very difficult for me and something I struggle with constantly. I try to find something beautiful each day to appreciate and remind myself that tomorrow is never promised, not for anyone. Some days it is very hard to see through the dense fog of my disease and I have to consciously seek out that one thing of beauty. Other days are abundant with opportunities. I’d like to leave something here that will help all of us remember to find this beauty in life, and I plan to do this as close to daily as I can manage. Today I’ll leave you with a picture of the most ferocious love in my life, my son. I hope you all have someone who threatens your heart to burst as much as this guy does mine.