Western education 2013

Thursday, August 13, 2009

..... invasive

On Monday morning.....

I can't sleep and after rolling around in bed trying to find a comfy spot, I have given up and come downstairs. It was pouring again in the wee hours of the morning and at times hard enough to conjure up memories of camping in a canvas tent and hearing the relentless beat on the roof. I didn't take anything before bed and so my mind is busy grinding away with a multitude of thoughts and feelings ..... a walk down memory lane, only not all the memories are pleasant and I push them away only to find them returning like a vengeance. I peer out the back door and see a light shining down on the deck and know that it is the reflection of the moon and I carefully open up the door and peer up. The moon has an orange ring around it and in its almost half shape it is bright. I notice a line of white moving rapidly across the sky and in no time it has covered the moon and put out the light it had cast moments before on my face. So reflective of what I am feeling these days..... It is just after 4 am and my cat has come to cuddle in my lap as I begin to type. My daughter is fascinated by the pets in our house and how I am constantly being followed around by them... she notes that even the pet rats in her room will sit and listen attentively when I am reading stories to her...... I have grown up with animals my whole life and know that it is so important for children to learn to care for others in their early years. I have also learned to trust the instincts in small children and animals and those in myself. I am intuitive and when I have my quiet moments and when I am paying attention, I often can tell what is going on around me and what is coming ahead. Our busy lives take us in multiple paths of distractions and hinder that ability in all of us to be introspective... I try to distract myself but this morning it is difficult....

.... I am still in limbo and occupy my waking moments with children, laughter and domestic chores - it is the quiet time in the night when I cannot sleep that I wonder why I have not come up with a bucket list - after all, I am still mortal and yes, I have cancer but my thoughts always stay positive and look to the future... maybe not as far ahead as I would have a few months ago. I do catch myself saying ... I hope to watch my daughter marry some day and have her own children.... I wonder what my children will be like when they are adults? Did I do a good job as a Mom? What if I don't quite get there.... will they remember me? Will their memories be good ones? What kind of people will they be to others? to themselves? Will they be friends with each other? I realize that we are all here for such an incredibly short time in the scheme of things and that no one will really care about me in a few short decades after I leave and when those around me have forgotten me.... but what I leave behind in the time I spend between birth and my end date will be how I lived my life and what I thought important enough to leave to the next generation and how I hope that it is better than my own. I hold no animosity towards anyone and am incapable of holding a grudge. I am disappointed in those that do. My bucket list, if I ever get one would likely be about spending more time with my children and not sweating the little stuff. Being kind and doing a random act of kindness towards others every day because they have their own problems too. Reminding my friends on a regular basis why they are still my friends and to always let them know that I love and appreciate the people that they are. To send warm hugs and love to the sister who does not speak to me, to be caring and loving to the one that does and to always let my brother know he is always loved and appreciated. To understand that my parents really did do the best they could and that I appreciate the things they taught me that have become important in my life. To always be a good and loving partner to the one I vowed my life to and who has walked with me into uncharted territory all these years and especially now........

On Thursday morning..

... the word 'invasive' conjures up all sorts of images depending on your perspective and experiences and in my world I imagine it as being a difficult and prolific weed invading a garden.... my garden. I will call my cancer a weed, one which will need to be pulled from my garden without leaving behind more than a hole and a dim memory ....

I am reminded by my 7 year old daughter almost daily that she will streak her hair pink if I have to lose my hair and that she doesn't want me to die.... I know that she will take my lead and look to me for answers that right now, I clearly do not have. She grabs for my hand and walks with me now instead of running ahead unless Max already has it and then she runs ahead twirling as she puddle hops. She cuddles more often and tells me she loves me. She is trying to cope with something that she knows she has no control over. She tells us that she thinks about it every day and she worries.... she is as candid and as honest as I am with her. I am aware she is a child and as much as I want to protect her, I will not lie to her when she asks me a question to something she needs to have the answer to. She trusts me implicitly and I will not compromise that and so it becomes a debate with Max into the late hours of the evening. He tells her that I will live to be old and grey and I tell her that I have no plans to leave any time soon. It is a debate that no one wins and it amounts to what each of us believes to be right. I do not want him to make her promises that will later haunt him and destroy any trust she has for him and he wants me to tell her as little as possible so as not to worry her..... it is a dilemma. After much soul searching, the only conclusion that I can come up with is to love her as much as I can and to calm her fears by telling her that I will always love her and conduct our days as normally as possible. We will find something to laugh about and look forward to every day. We do not know how long any of us will be here and so maybe we should all be doing that anyway..... live, love and laugh Lydia!!!

It was great going into work the past few mornings and seeing people whom I either have not spoken to since I have left or have not seen in a few weeks. I miss being there and being busy in a connected way. Since I can't sit still for very long anyway... I am sure I can find stuff that I have pushed aside for a rainy day - like the kids scrapbooks and getting the pictures printed off for their photo albums. I will enjoy the rest of the summer with my children and the company that comes over to swim now that the days have warmed up enough to want to take a dip.

This morning I went downtown for a photo shoot with Faceit London at a photographer's studio on Dundas St. I found parking easily on Clarence just after the morning rush and minutes after dropping Lydia off at Reading Camp. The sun promises to kick up the heat for this afternoon and I smile as the beggar standing outside the studio doors politely lets me know that there were other people who have come before me and graciously hits the buzzer. I am let in to the studio - I will be having my make-up done by an artist this morning and will return later for the shoot... one of the ladies is at a medical appointment - can I do the shoot after make-up. No sweat, what great timing. I am standing in the back room talking to Annette near a window that has cast its light on my face and I notice the photographer, a slight young woman who has aimed her camera and begins to take candid photos - she likes the way the light falls across me. I am wearing my gardening gear not having planned my wardrobe for the morning make up but the clothes are comfortable and a soft blue which shows off my eyes. The cut off sleeves showcase my tattoos which would be part of the photographers focus. One of the ladies breezes past and stops to admire my artwork. She has a lovely face and a gentle way about her... I like her. After her shoot she drops in to make-up to wish me well - she knows that I am only part-way through my journey and she tells me she is near the end of hers with cancer. I wish her well and thank her for her kind words..... she is off and it is now my turn. The photographer likes what I am wearing and takes full advantage of my casual attire and captures my easy going attitude. She is great and her gentle guidance gives her the photos she needs. I hug her when it is over and away I go...... Annette is by the door and she says she will talk to me tomorrow - we both know that the news is not great but it will be the jumping off point for what is to come and what we have been waiting for. Hugs and a see you and I exit the building into the bright sunlight and as I put my sunglasses on I reach into my handbag again and extract what change I have left for the polite beggar outside the door. 'Bless you and have a nice day'..... 'you too' I quietly respond as I make my way to my car and back to my reality.

I wish to thank everyone for their laughter and their kind words.... these will take me far in my journey and to my husband who put together a picture from WALL-E showing him holding hands with Eve who at this point in the movie is shut down and is just there physically - he carefully put a well constructed Koi tattoo on her left arm and placed a pink ribbon on her chest adjacent to the light string that the WALL-E had place over her "shoulders". He is holding her side.... if you look closely, he has put his name on the character MAX-E. I must have cried for 20 minutes - Lydia came running to me and when I showed her she just smiled and said 'Daddy really loves you'...... and I love him too - the picture really says about a million words and really is very telling of our relationship and where we are in our lives right now.

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