Friday, July 13, 2007

Time


Summertime. Being a kid. Growing up when kids could still be kids.
Life was so simple then. Time had no real meaning. Certain things marked time for us, not clocks:
When the streetlights came on it was time to go home.
When the back-to-school ads started to appear it was time to try and squeeze out every last bit of summer and freedom that we could.

All that time seemed so vast in front of us when we were kids. Who could ever have imagined what being a grown up was? Who wanted to?

Childhood friends are scattered to the winds now. The vacant lots we played in have houses in them. The kitchen drawer that stored candy is now covered in a granite counter top and filled with protein bars. The movie theaters don't have the big screen with the curtain that opens anymore. Sandwiches don't taste as good as your mom's did when you make them yourself. The future is no longer full of that same promise and excitement... things have changed.

Cancer has a way of robbing you of the ability to look too far down the road now. It is too scary. And yet, it also gives us a sort of time traveling ability because we are able to clearly remember our pasts... our happy pasts when we were free and were able to be joyful without that trace of fear that catches us before we get too carried away.

I guess we should look at today as being a time to treasure too because we know that the future sometimes has unpleasant surprises awaiting us.

So starting now I will stop thinking of this as a hard stretch of chemo-time and start enjoying all the parts that are joyful. I will never be able to go back to my cancer free days, but I can try to remember what it felt like. Try to make life as simple as waiting for the street lights to go on as my sign it is time to make dinner. My sandwiches won't taste as good but I will try.

Bob Dylan wrote on the liner notes of an album (remember record albums?)

"Yeah the old days are gone forever and the new ones ain't far behind..."

I am in a new day now so I better make it count. Because today soon will be a part of my past as well and I like to be able to look back and see the amount of true happiness I had been blessed with before now. I intend on feeling that way again. October and the end of treatment seems so far away... but so did June and school being out for summer vacation when I was a kid and it was only March. I will get there.

Hey Mom and Dad, thanks for the wonderful childhood. Those memories have warmed me even on the coldest of days.

That's my older brother there in the picture above. He passed away five years ago. We all miss him but can still see his smile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJfQ3qhtGbw
Cut and paste if link won't work

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love the Wonder Years. I am crying here from your post and then watching that clip on you tube.

I love the way you think and write.

Thank you.

Jenster said...

Your words are so simple and yet so eloquent. The memory of watching the street lights made me smile.

I'm thankful for the tremendous happiness I had before cancer. I'm thankful for the surprising joy I've had since cancer. And I'm looking forward to more carefree days in my future.

Here's to a quick trip to October and much happiness.

Sam said...

I know exactly what you mean!

Sam

danahollis said...

Ya know... I feel that, too... and I've been thinking a lot about this sort of thing lately. About living simply and really engaging myself in my life.

BUT... I am truly just on the verge of understanding what it means to live fully in the moment. Kids do it all the time.

But as we become adults, we forget how to do that and we let all the worldly pressures build on our shoulders. I don't want that for my life.

I want to live with kid-like intensity. I want to think of the future with happy thoughts and not be burdened by cancer and all the baggage and what-ifs it brings to life.

I don't think it's living in denial... I think it's actually living with a firm grasp that nothing is certain and being ok with it. This moment is all I have.

Of course I want a LONG lifetime of moments... but that won't be my focus. My focus is here and now.

Life is all about perspective. I very much remember the awful days during my chemo cycles. Sometimes, I laid in bed and cried and even wondered if I could keep going... but I did. And that's what we all do. We keep going. We put one foot in front of the other and we LIVE for the happy moments.

Life is so very precious... don't waste it worrying or grieving over the innocence you feel you lost. Each moment in life you are given choices... choose what makes you smile! Not what makes you sad. ;)

THAT'S MY MOTTO... :)

Remember, life is a process of learning and growing. We know not how long that process will last nor what challenges we'll face, but what's for certain is that we have the opportunity to bond with others and make the time so amazingly special. You do it all the time! :)

Many hugs to you... hang in there! You will get through this. ;)

~Dana

Gretchen said...

"I am in a new day now so I better make it count. Because today soon will be a part of my past as well and I like to be able to look back and see the amount of true happiness I had been blessed with before now. I intend on feeling that way again. October and the end of treatment seems so far away... but so did June and school being out for summer vacation when I was a kid and it was only March. I will get there."

Hi, I hopped over from Jenster's place. I love what you said (above). So beautifully, amazingly true. Blessings to you, and may October be here before you know it.

Gretchen