Saturday, July 19, 2014
Day 8 of 100 Days of Good Karma.
The kids and I went to the gym today. Getting sweaty is the only way I’ve found to avoid getting caught up in the what-if’s of a cancer diagnosis.
In our gym there are three rooms. One room with cardio equipment and weight machines and another with yoga mats and a stability ball. The third room is a kids play area with a TV hooked up to a DVD/VCR. There are even VCR cassette tapes in there, probably donated from a box someone found in their garage.
Funny story: The first time we went to the gym Hannah held up one of the bulky cassette tapes that represent an integral part of my youth and asked, “Mommy, what is this thing?” I sighed, thinking this is how my parents must feel about 8-track tapes, then showed her how to use the VCR.
I left the kids in the little play room off to the side of the workout areas. They were excited because there were two other kids already in there watching The Lion King.
I went in the cardio room where a man about my age was running on one of the treadmills. I smiled in greeting. He smiled back and looked over his shoulder to check on the two kids in the play room. I hopped on an elliptical machine with a good view of the play area, plugged in my headphones and proceeded to sweat for the day.
The runner’s kids popped in to the cardio room what seemed like every five minutes for the next thirty minutes. I could tell he was getting aggravated and I understood why.
I’ve been running for a little over five years now. When I run I want to find a groove and stay there. Distractions can be very frustrating. Also, I think he was embarrassed that his kids might be disrupting my workout (they weren’t).
After one of their many visits into the cardio room, he shrugged at me apologetically and said, “Sometimes I wish I could just fast forward a few years.”
I laughed and nodded, but only because it was polite. I knew what he meant. I don’t think he was wishing his kids’ childhood away. He just wanted a few minutes to himself and which of us hasn’t wanted that?
But what he said hit home.
Today’s silver lining: I realized I may never, ever wish a single moment of my life away again.
No matter how painful or frustrating or overwhelming the current moment might be, it is precious and it is all I have.
Let’s be honest. It’s all any of us have.
I wanted to tell this father of two that there might come a day where he’ll want to take those words back. When he’ll look at pictures of his kids and hope he gets just one more year, one more month, one more day with them.
Cancer is teaching me a lot of things.
Aside from a crash course in Oncology-101, I’m learning patience. I’m also learning appreciation. You don’t have to be diagnosed with a scary disease to know that today is the most precious day you have.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember, but every day we get to wake up talk to or see our loved ones is a good day. Even if it’s the kind of ‘good’ that makes you want to pull out your hair.
What’s your silver lining today? I love comments!