Archive for July 13th, 2009

A Bump in the Road

Monday, July 13th, 2009

As I was walking through the woods tonight my mind meandered back to my childhood. It’s amazing how many memories jump out and others have all but disappeared. When I thought back to certain things I began to realize that up until my early adult years everything is kind of a blur. I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t take time to smell the roses or if it’s because the mind can’t store as much information from that early part of my life. Either way I guess I’ve kept the moments that meant the most within reaching distance.

I, like anyone, tend to take some people and things for granted. I always think that everything will be fine and it sometimes allows me to turn my back on reality. A few years back when my world was caving in around me, my mom was battling breast cancer. Instead of bowing her head and sulking around feeling sorry for herself she did everything she could to ensure that I would be ok. She was facing an illness that could claim her life, yet she stood up to protect me and help me through the heartache that I was feeling. I almost let it control my every action from one day to the next. Although I tried showing my support when she battled the cancer I knew that my efforts were far too inferior compared to everything that she was doing for me.

I remember seeing the concern in her eyes, but I also recall when she chose to look the lion in the eye and roar back at him as if to say, “you might intimidate other people, but I will find a way to survive.” Sure enough as one day led into the next she became more determined to beat the illness that kills so many. It made me realize that I most likely have the same survival instinct inside my own body.

Every day I see all of the pills that she has to take and it’s unfathomable that she never complains. Instead, she takes care of her business in her own quiet way and pretends that absolutely nothing is wrong. Therefore, it makes me forget about the uphill battle that she faces every day.

Tonight I was slapped in the face with some disturbing news. It was similar to walking down a gorgeous beach and having it suddenly turn into the Arctic circle. That’s the only type of explanation I can give to the feeling that encompassed my body. As dad and I walked through the woods and talked about this and that while shooting arrows at our 3d targets he casually dropped the bomb in my lap. The fuse was burning and I was paralyzed when it landed near my belt. I couldn’t do anything but sit there and watch it burn. As it burnt I stood motionless and lost in my own world. I was at a loss for words and even more starved for an explanation. At the bottom of the fuse was the unnerving fact that a spot had been found on my mom’s lungs.

Although it was hard to swallow I took it the best I could and realized that we’re all in this together. My family has been the backbone of my life and we’ve all helped one another at one point in time. We all know that she will need our support, encouragement and positive aura as she begins yet another battle. We will surely try our best, but each one of us knows that we could never give what she gives to us. It’s simply impossible because she is the strongest root of our family tree.

As I took it all in I just asked myself why bad things happen to such wonderful people. It’s an age old question that I will never have an answer for. I actually won’t even bother searching because it has a deeper meaning than anyone can find. I never wish evil onto another, but I don’t understand why it comes as it does. It comes without warning and strikes like a lightning bolt out of a sunny sky. When it does happen we have to find a way to rally around one another and show the support that can make a difference. I’ve realized that without hope a person doesn’t stand a chance. We are very fortunate in the battle that lies in front of us because we have all had our bouts with illness. I have battled a killing disease since the age of 5. I’ve never given in although there were many times that I could have. I could have bowed my head in defeat and done myself in, but I chose to push forward and make the most of the hand that I was dealt. I might not be happy about it and it most definitely scares me that I live with the leading cause of kidney failure and blindness, but I will not give in. I’ll show that I can be a survivor. I can beat the odds and I’ll do everything under the sun to keep on that path. My mom will do the same now. She will continue to be positive and move on with the don’t quit attitude that she instilled in me. We are a team and our team has good chemistry. We help each other to succeed and we share our depressing moments as well.

Many people wouldn’t look at this event as a positive thing, but that’s what we’re going to do. We will do everything we can to come together and beat this thing. There’s no sense in getting ahead of ourselves so we’ll breathe in and breathe out while we put one foot in front of the other. We’ll slowly walk down the road less traveled and we will find a way to come out the other side together. For some reason we have been dealt a lot of bad hands in this card game of life, but we continue to buck the odds. We will once again try to find a way  to survive. We’ll go through the hell in the hallway if we have to, but you can bet that we will never give in. That’s our nature. That’s what  gives our last name meaning.

As you wake up each day try to think of all of the people that never complain even though you know they are burdened with things that are unimaginable to most. Be at peace with the cards that are dealt to you even if you don’t like the hand. Make the most of what you have and find a way to survive, because in the end survivors never quit and quitters never survive.