Tuesday, January 13, 2009

so long, Carrie

A friend of mine passed away on Sunday, after being diagnosed with breast cancer almost 10 years ago. I feel sad for her husband and daughters. Last year, when she came out of remission again, here's what I wrote:

The cancer is in her bones. Those words echoed through my head for hours and hours.

She wasn’t going to get better. The woman who fought breast cancer and won only a few short years before wouldn’t survive this bout.

Even if she lasted another year, she still wouldn’t see her daughters fall in love, marry or hold her own grandchildren. Her situation sent my thoughts tumbling for hours about what I would do if I were in her shoes.

What would I do with the last year of my life? What would I hope to accomplish?

After the usual thoughts, like see the world, volunteer more, give more and learn more, I decided that none of those would bring any closure, or sense of peace to a painful existence.

I started to think about my favorite days. This is what I would do:

I would spend those sunny September afternoons – the ones when the sun burns a little too hot for the long-sleeved shirt and jeans you chose for the morning, but you won’t change because you’ll need them later on – on the porch.

I would walk halfway up to school to meet my kids after their day and I would walk hand-in-hand with them home, listening to their stories about who’s name was on the board and how many times they chased each other around the playground.

I would make more dinners, and spend more time enjoying them. Instead of worrying about who’s going to clean it up. I would finish all those little projects I started, or just start more.

I would read more stories and wait until my kids fell asleep before I left the room. I would be more gentle with my children and teach them patience. I would sit and snuggle with them, play games with them but mostly I would listen to them.

Then I started to think about what else I would do, and it seems that it would be a pretty normal life I was living, just paying a bit more attention to the details. Maybe I can start living like that now.

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