So I have neglected the blog again. I have neglected many things. Maybe not neglected but procrastinated or ignored, overlooked, even snubbed. I guess the semantics aren't really that important. There is so much going on at once in my brain that focus is difficult, fogginess customary and distractions preferred. But I have felt the urge to write again and I am here to do so. First, since I haven't written since September I could update you some on the happenings in my life. Good news or bad? I think I will mix them together, just like they are in life.
I am still in remission from cancer. I had blood tests to verify this in November and in February. The oncologist said I'm doing well though we know the possibility (the certainty in his book) of the cancer returning is always there. The statistics are against me but we will see...
The holidays have passed, Thanksgiving with my family and friends...followed by several Christmas festivities. With everyone's busy schedule it was impossible to get everybody together at once so we enjoyed several days of celebrations. It was wonderful being surrounded by family and friends, enjoying food, playing games, watching the children grow. Then in some ways it was a rough holiday.
This was the first Christmas with both of my parents gone. My dad died early in December of 2015, my mother in September of 2014. I have a slideshow from his memorial service to post but again I have neglected finishing it. A few weeks after my dad passed my sister tried to have a heart attack, but, thankfully, failed. After Christmas the weather was dreary and rainy. Going into stores and seeing the jumbled, leftover Christmas items reminded me of past holidays with my mom. We both collect snowmen. We would always buy discounted snowmen during the post holiday sales. I did that this year on my own, with tears both happy and sad.
I am trying to get to the point of having surgery to replace my knees; they have deserted me and I am often in pain and have difficulty walking. There are a few complications to sort out before I have surgery but hopefully it will happen soon. Life guarantees us nothing but I would like to return to work by August...and so it goes.
Paul and I recently celebrated three years of living together in America. I always imagine he regrets his choices after all that has happened since he arrived. But he says no and ignores my suggestions for him to run like the wind back to London before it gets any worse. He has helped and continues to care for me in so many ways, a treasure indeed. I have many people in my life that have been here for me...My attitude, at times, has not been the best but they put up with me (especially my sister) and feed me encouragement, hope and love.
I have thought a lot about people in the past few months, not just my loved ones, but people, all sorts and kinds, various and sundry. Compassion and openness is easier for me then it used to be, at least on most days. In the next few days I'd like to share some stories about that topic involving delivery men and homeless veterans. Sounds like a great title, eh? I don't believe cancer came into my life to 'teach' me something or for any other reason (it is what it is), but I think we can learn something from going through these experiences...if we listen, if we pay attention. Which sometimes I do, especially if it falls on my head like a ton of bricks.
I guess you are caught up with my story for now. There will be a quiz on this material next Tuesday. My sister and I have been discussing stories lately and the themes of our lives. We both decided loss was our theme but she thought of it first and I don't want to steal her life theme so I have been reading some old writing to see what recurring subjects and refrains I would see. One thing I noticed was numerous writings about storms and feeling, or rather not feeling, safe. And fear...and an absence of peace and, frankly loss. I would like to concentrate on writing about some of those...loss, fear, the fear of loss, peace about loss, acceptance of myself and others, hope, and knowing that no matter how hard I try, there will be more loss... we'll see where it takes me.
I realized too that my life is like a flopping fish. Caught where he doesn't want to be. Moments before floating through the ocean...until a juicy worm caught his attention and brought a huge hook into his mouth, pulling him out of the water, onto the hard pier. The fish immediately began flopping furiously, trying to free himself from the dreadful hook and the stabbing pain. Then he realized if he lay very still it didn't hurt as much. So he stopped flopping and even relaxed enough to fall asleep. But then it occurred to him that if he lay too still the fisherman would think he was dead and might put him with the other fish who have left the ocean by way of hook and never returned. So he starts flopping again fighting for his life. The pain worsened causing him to stop moving and he hoped to just let go and fade away. The fisherman would prod him with the tip of his boot to see if he was alive and not let him be at peace. Maybe the fisherman would finally recognize his pain and release the hook and throw him back into the ocean, the only home he had ever known. Once there he would follow his watery path avoiding any squirming worms in his way. But how would he get there? It is the question I ask myself daily.
So to all 3 or 4 of my readers, I wish you peace and light!