Wednesday, May 1, 2013

We all take life for granted, until we can't...

2013 has been the year of the C-WORD. That word. Yes. Cancer. So many friends diagnosed that it feels like being bludgeoned. And, father was diagnosed  with Stage 2 Hodgkins Lymphoma in January. He has survived the poison of chemo and radiation, and appears to be coming out the other side. I am in awe of his courage, determination and ability to recognize that could have been so much worse. His words. Not mine. I have never been prouder of my father, and felt so helpless at the same time.

Mortality. The state or condition of being subject to Death. Transience, impermanence, ephemerality. The state of being mortal...

Death will come for all of us. Yet, somehow 51, I still cling to the childish notion that my parents will be here forever. Until I'm ready for them to go, which I'll never be. Ready. Of course it is their journey, not mine, but I still keep grabbing for the steering wheel in their car, thinking I can control where we are going.

They think they got it all. The cancer. No promises, but things look good. The doctors are optimistic, and I ...cling to this, digging my nails, like talons, into each piece of good news. So, I sound calm on the phone and do my best to be Jenny. That daughter who is sweet and loving and there for him. And, I am that daughter. But, I am also that child, and I need my daddy to be around for a lot longer.

Deep breath. If I'm honest, I have to acknowledge that bearing witness to my father's journey is a stepping stone to facing the reality that someday I will no longer be here. And, that scares the shit out of me.  That I will be taken before I am ready. That I won't get to sit in a rocking chair on the porch with my husband next to me, and grandchildren tumbling about my feet.

Death will come to all of us. We can't escape it. So, we keep pedaling uphill, and hope that on the downhill ride we can coast and forget the brakes.  Because, we all take life for granted, until we can't...

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  1. So sorry it's happening but so very glad to hear that your dad seems to be topping the rise of this particular challenge.

  2. Oh gosh, I am sorry this has been going on, but I am glad your dad is doing well. I know exactly what you mean. Jim's dad died and his mom is in bad health, so he finds himself taking care of her now. It is a strange process, this growing up/growing old, isn't it?

  3. I have faced this very vividly with my mother and sister dying at 61 and 41. I have to say that turning 50 is a head trip on it's own even when not combined with up-close witnessing of someone else's scare.

    I'm glad you are writing to help you process it. I don't know what I'd do without that outlet.

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