Saturday, July 7

Quote of the Day:  “To measure up to all that is demanded of him, a man must overestimate his capacities.”  Johann von Goethe

I’m happy to be in July because then I can say that my son comes home next month.  A two year absence is a long time to go without seeing someone whose existence up to that point had, pretty much, been your responsibility.  You start off that journey just taking one day at a time because to imagine the whole, the 730 days, and in Taylor’s case, when accomplished will be 737 days in total.  But somehow you get through, you ask of yourself more than you think possible, stretching your capabilities, or simply just because you have to.   

I have to say that I’m amazed at what people will put up with, day after day, before they finally say “I have to make a change” or “I can’t live life this way anymore” or perhaps some people never get to that point where they dare to imagine that life could be better than at present.  Do we fear change or the unknown so much that we don’t allow ourselves to take a new route?  We are certainly creatures of habit and we certainly possess a lot of fears.  

So, this week, on the 4th of July, our neighborhood threw a huge breakfast.  Joe was involved in setting up the cooking stoves for the eggs, hashbrowns and pancakes preventing him from exercising that morning so I left early to meet Sue and Kery for a ride out south on Wasatch Blvd. towards Bell Canyon.  We were hoping for little traffic since it was a holiday.  We saw so many people out exercising.  I love that about Utah, a lot of people recreate, and we have these mountains so close that you can be in them in such a short period of time.  I also love how free I feel on a bike.  Compared to running, you cover distance so quickly and unlike running, you don’t have to support your whole frame going forward.  You get these periods of climbing hills and then can rest on the flat and then you get this reward stage when you go downhill.  After the ride, I walked up to the church and the place was packed.  The local fire department even stopped by with all their trucks.  They were mingling with all the neighbors and then let children climb into the cab to view the world as they do.  

But the best part for me was that I got to finally meet face to face, a fellow cancer survivor, a triple-negative survivor, named Ginger.  Ginger’s parents go to my church so I became acquainted with them when we found that their daughter and I shared the same type of cancer.  Ginger’s chemo treatments ended a few months after my own so I would think of her often knowing we were sharing this world of hurt.  There were two other women I knew, who were also diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, going through the treatments about the same time as I was, in total that made four of us.  I feel a closeness to them because we all had to experience the same heartache that a cancer diagnosis brings.  I loved talking to Ginger and  her husband.  I will say that I do love how a near-death experience brings down the walls that we build up.  All the sudden, your life view changes, you no longer have to pretend to be something that you’re not.  What I’m trying to say is that you become more transparent.  You see more clearly, somehow.  And it was clear to me that they, Ginger and husband, had deepened their relationship because of the way they handled this crisis.  Ginger remarked that she would never want to go through last year again, but she didn’t want to give up what she had learned and I feel the exact same way.  I’m so grateful for what I learned.  It was like getting this bonus education while everyone else was in remedial class.  I’m also grateful that I didn’t have to go it alone. 

Later that day, after we came home from a wonderful time in Lamb’s Canyon, waiting for me were three solar dragonfly lights and a sweet note from Ginger.  Yesterday, Maggie and I put them in the garden so they could soak up the sun and last night when we drove in the driveway, they were illuminating reds, purples and blues, a sign to keep going and to apply in the most positive way the knowledge that was acquired last year.  Thanks Ginger!


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