Friday, July 13, 2007
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.
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