Monday, September 8, 2014

I Wanna Get Better

It's been a rough couple of weeks. There has been some good news, some bad news, and some things that are unclassifiable because they're just so far outside of what you expect to happen that there is really no way to handle them or even fully process them.

Tomorrow I go for my pre-op check-in. I've been informed of the costs I will incur to have the cancer cut out of me, and I've found a way to pay for it. I have some trepidation about the surgery, because I don't know exactly what they're going to do or exactly what they're going to find. It could be great news and it could be dire news. But I am eager to have it over with. By noon on Monday, I expect to know my final prognosis.

I did not think a few months ago that at this point of my existence I would be at a terrifying, life-altering crossroads, and that I would be standing at the crossroads alone. And I know I'm not totally alone. I have my mom, my brother and sister-in-law, my kids, my friends -- both my RL friends and my on-line friends, clients, and fellow writers. And I am grateful beyond words to all the people who have been so wonderful and supportive during the darkest period of my life. Still, inside my heart, I am alone.

I understand now what has happened, and have a name for the thing. That gives me a certain power, because the naming of things is powerful. It has allowed me to let go of the concepts of blame and regret, because those are useless and only cause more harm in a situation that has harmed everyone enough.  I know now that what happened had nothing to do with me, and there is nothing I could have done to prevent it. There is nothing I can do now to change it, although I'm told that it changes on its own, given time. But the important thing is that I can't count on the change or when it will come, I can only get on with my life.  I know that the reason there is such hatred for me at the moment is because there was such love for me for so long and I am so fortunate to have had that, because love like that is not guaranteed to anyone. Even knowing what I know now, I would not change one moment of the joy and love I have known.  I know that the worst aspects of the situation will burn themselves out, sooner or later, because that's the only future of things born of bitterness, fear, confusion, and sorrow. There is an abstract comfort in knowing how the most troublesome aspects will end, but sometimes abstract comfort is no comfort at all.

I have found some peace with what has happened. But it is a delicate and uneasy peace, and sometimes it seems to dearly cost me. Sometimes it is so damn hard.

One of my favorite bits of poetry is an American proverb:

For every evil under the sun,
There is a cure or there is none.
If there is one, then find it.
If there is none, then never mind it.

I would give almost anything I have or will have to have the person I love most in this world return for just one day, the one day that seems the fulcrum on which my past and future balance. I feel I am owed that by fate, but some debts are never paid, and we grow old and bitter waiting for recompense.

Still, my love is bruised, but undiminished. I will lock it away and keep it safe, in case it's ever needed again. I will be faithful. I will be forgiving. I will try and repair the things in me that need repairing, and hope that the rest takes care of itself. I will try and be generous in thought and deed, and charitable to those who need care. If the phone rings in the middle of the night, I will pick it up and I will listen. I will stumble and I will fall short, but I will be strong and true, and never give up.

I am leaving my bitterness behind me. I will find the cure for the things I can cure, and never mind the things I can't. I will tell myself this when I am alone in the dark, or when I feel a cresting wave of despair or anger. I will tell myself this when I am faced with the memory of what is lost, and the fear the future holds. I will tell myself this when I am in a situation where grace is the only thing that will serve me. I will tell myself this when the people who would harm me seem so callous or careless that I feel I will break into pieces. I will tell myself this when I do what I know is right, regardless of what it costs me.

I will tell myself this until I believe it.

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