A Year

So much can happen in a year. A day can be busy. A week can be full. A year can change your life. They are all made up of moments.

One year ago today, my son was diagnosed with stage IIIb cancer. He didn’t live close by. I wasn’t there when the doctor told him. I was 2000 miles away connected by some unseen electronic air wave cell phone line.

He made it. He went through chemo/radiation pre-surgery. Then a 15 hour radical surgery and then follow up chemo. We traveled by air to be there. To touch. To love. To cry. To encourage.To hope. To fear. To despair. To move into another day.

PET scan showed no cancer. Celebration!

Yet…this day brings back haunting emotions. Life is very short. We all live one phone call away from very sad news. Life changing  information.

My philosophy? Live each day without regret. Love. Forgive. Don’t try and be perfect.

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Would Cloning Erase Me?

If I could clone myself, I would have a challenge making a fair decision. I fear that one would have all the responsibilities and the other would have all the fun. How fair is that?

So then I would struggle over my decision as to which clone would I inhabit. I am pretty certain that I would choose the one that had all the fun. Yet how would I grow?

At 23 I delivered my second child.  My daughter was born with a crippling birth defect of spina bifida. She would require 11 surgeries by the time she was 2 years old. I was yanked from a happy go lucky young woman, to a busy responsible mother. Our days at the park, were interchanged with our days at the hospital. Certainly, we enjoyed our time at the park. We could smell the fresh air, feel the ocean mist on our cheeks, and picnic on a blanket.

In the hospital, we saw loneliness, suffering and heartbreak. But the hospital meant doctors and nurses who helped us. The surgeries mended and protected my daughter. Every room had a rocking chair. I would cradle my daughter, hug her against my breast, and sing comfort songs in her ears; all while we rocked in that old wooden rocking chair.

I learned life was precious. I learned how to be patient. I learned how to care. If I gave up those responsibilities would I still have learned those lessons?

Maybe. But they are all experiences that have made me who I am. I still love to rock. I have an old wooden rocking chair in my bedroom today. Perhaps, on some level, as I rock, my soul remembers those precious days and nights of rocking, and singing songs of comfort – for when I sit down and rock, I can feel my heart beat slow to a normal pace, the troubles of my mind soothe out and I discover a calm that I do not find anywhere else.

Perhaps, it is good that we are not yet able to clone ourselves. What we might choose to wipe out, might be the very essence of who we are.

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” John F Kennedy

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