Starting with today, but other than that in no particular order, some of what of 2012 brought my way:
Another Mac mini. (Apparently one Mac mini, plus an Apple TV, an iPad, and two MacBooks wasn’t quite enough to give us complete access to our entertainment options.)
Coffee, chocolate, ripe tomatoes, wine, cheese, spicy lamb stew. A little of everything, bitter and sour and sweet.
Arguments, hurt feelings.
Laughter, love, empathy, movies, books. Dancing, and muscles that hurt for an entire week afterwards, every time.
Awareness that the C-word crosses my brain at least once every hour.
Terror over an upcoming visit to the oncologist, and another cancer All-Clear celebration.
An exciting engagement dinner, and eventually, a cancelled engagement, broken dreams, grief. We our best to help her through.
A residency at Stanford for one of the kids; a graduation for the baby of the family.
A friend’s father takes his life. We don’t understand, and we do. But we can do nothing but watch her grief.
I’m happy to be alive. But unhappy with aspects of my new post-cancer life. I miss cellulite-free thighs, miss estrogen-soaked cells and hair that has a little shine to it, miss going to yoga or out dancing without having to suck Aspirin afterwards. But I’m happy to have hair again—it is, however meager, infinitely superior to having no hair.
I break down and acquire at least a few pieces of clothing a size bigger.
Vanity and whining, I know. Guilty. I weep for our niece, whose cancer is back. I weep for the innocent children who lost their lives to an out-of-control young man with a gun. I weep for their parents. For mothers who have no choice but to leave their children motherless because of a drunk driver, or because cancer cells gone crazy demand they do so. For parents who must live with the amputation the loss of a child is.
I decide we need to sell the six-bedroom family home and downsize. My husband has little choice but to come along for the ride. I’m rarely that assertive, but on this I was downright pushy. I decided, we put it on the market, sold in three weeks, and then had three weeks to find a replacement. I’m still tired, but we love the new smaller space and location. We can easily walk to the river valley now, and to any number of places that will make my coffee or supper for me.
Another cancer All-Clear.
A gorgeous wedding. And another.
Our grand-daughter comes for an extended visit, and we get to watch her perform in a short but lovely version of CATS.
Many, many bad hair and bad wardrobe days.
A baptism by music, on the hill in Edmonton, in the heat of August, under the spell of musicians like Bahamas.
Yet another magical wedding, this one family, in the most stunning west coast B.C. setting, and the first time since forever we have all the children together. I remind myself: we have children not to fulfill our dreams, but to encourage them to pursue theirs.
Many more bad hair and wardrobe days, another cancer All-Clear. Whining, terror, then ecstasy, again.
An extended visit from my parents. They’re amazing.
A new friend. Our bond: we’ve both met cancer.
Old friends. Lunches, coffees, dinners, arguments, agreements, laughter, tears.
Visits with the kids. So proud of all of them.
It’s all so ordinary, so painful and boring, and so amazingly wonderful. And I’m making plans for December 31, 2013 as I sit here, writing down what I want to see happen, who I want to become between now and then. Happy New Year to all of you.