• 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 8 (Don’t Wish Your Life Away)

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    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!

    xoxo,
    Meghan

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13 Responsesso far.

  1. Michale Bauer says:

    Great reminder to live in the present! Saturday I was at the sink for what seemed like hours washing three heads of lettuce (romaine, green leaf, and red tipped). I volunteered to bring a salad for a family birthday gathering. Growing up, Mom grew lettuce in her garden. For some reason I was the only one who routinely found a live worm in the salad! I don’t grow lettuce in my garden and I’m meticulous when washing store bought lettuce … I wonder why! Silver lining … my marinated cucumber salad (made the night before) was a bigger hit. So sis and Mom divided the green salad to enjoy over the next couple of days. And I have three bags of washed lettuce for my own use this week!

    • Meghan says:

      Oh my God, Michale, I’m going to be so much more careful washing lettuce from now on. Glad the cucumber salad was a hit and thank you for sharing! 🙂

  2. Annette Foster says:

    🙂

  3. Pat Sincox says:

    My silver lining for the weekend is that my wife finally got over her irrational behavior concerning our new rescue doggie, Sugar Bear. She is a mix of a Brussels Griffon and something else, and we adopted her outside of a Petco in Sterling Ridge in The Woodlands Saturday a week ago. My wife was reluctant, as she was still griving over our 9-year old Baxter (taken from our younger daughter, as she could only have one of her two dogs in her apartment on Memorial), who we had to put down well ahead of his time due to the sudden appearance of pancreatic cancer (that damned C word again). Well, after being placed in a crate twice, Sugar Bear rewarded its new masters by pooping and rolling in the stuff, resulting in two baths in a little more than 24 hours. The dog kept telling those still at home (not me) that she did not like to be in confined spaces. The next experiment with shutting her in the laundry room was highly successful, requiring no clean up….of room or animal. After the second poop session, my normally demure wife was cussing like a sailor, yelling at the poor dog and threatening to return the pup…..she noted to all that she had a 14-day trial period. Of course, this upset both of my daughters (visible tears), who each have rescue animals. They understand that many of these animals come with emotional scars for a myriad of reasons. But patience runs short in my family.

    Well, let’s just say that the road trip that my wife and I and Sugar Bear made back to visit her mother in Louisiana over the weekend ended up in a bonding experience. Sugar Bear pooped when and where she was supposed to, got along with all two and four legged creatures, followed my wife around everywhere, slept with us in the bed with no surprises in the morning, and was an overall delight. No further discussion of returning the little bundle (all 9 pounds of tan curl).

    I guess we will just chalk it up to a momentary hormone imbalance………..

    • Meghan says:

      Oh Lord, Pat, you have no idea how big a grin I’m wearing right now reading your story. Your poor wife, and poor Sugar Bear! 🙂

  4. “You don’t have to be diagnosed with a scary disease to know that today is the most precious day you have.” – I loved this, because its true you need to live for now and stop worrying about things you can’t control. I love my daughter and miss her when she’s not around to pester me and shout out mom all over the house. I did have moments where I wanted to fast forward, but know that I really don’t, because I won’t get those moments back. Thanks for the insight and reminder!

  5. […] 21. Shared on Happy Links from Rowdy Kittens, 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 8 (Don’t Wish Your Life Away). […]

  6. Rene says:

    I love that you wrote this. I had a learning experience with my Dad’s scare about 15+ years ago. Treasure each moment, they are precious.

    • Meghan says:

      I do. Every day. Even the painful moments, maybe especially the painful moments, because they remind me I’m still alive. 🙂

  7. Cindy Smith says:

    Wow! So, I am still reading all of days I missed out on (and will do the email thing) since they stopped appearing in my FB feed and this day really hit home with me. So here’s my story for you!!

    I am 48 yrs old now (as of Aug 18 – yea me!) and had just turned 30 when I found out I was going to have to have a complete right hip replacement. At that time I had to use a cane to walk anywhere and a wheelchair to go anywhere that required more than 15-20 minutes of walking. While not cancer or worse, it was still really hard to accept that I had to have this type of surgery so young and that because I was so young, it was a certainty that I would have to have it 1-2 more times in my future. The thought of that kind of surgery was terrifying to me. They were going to have out parts of my bone and replace them with metal implants. Then there were all of the scary thoughts about what would happen to Heather if anything happened to me while in surgery (completely unavoidable when they start discussing the surgical risks and asking permission for blood transfusions). After all, she was only 10 years old at the time.

    The couple of days before surgery I was the most productive I had been in some time due to the nervous adrenaline rushing through me. Groceries were stocked up on, all clothes and dishes were washed, and the house was mostly clean (my body did put a halt to things at some point). My mother-n-law was staying with us to take care of Heather and pretty much everything else while I was in the hospital and afterwards. The morning of surgery I was a mess and just couldn’t seem to shut off the tears. And all through this I still knew in my head that things could be so much worse. Nine days in the hospital, 1 1/2 months of no weight bearing on my right leg and then five months of physical therapy to learn how to walk again and build the muscle strength back up after losing so much of it from not being able to use them.

    Fast forward five years to my 35th birthday. I guess everyone thought that as a woman I was supposed to be upset about turning 35. Some sort of milestone I guess. But I knew something most of them didn’t. I knew what a blessing each and every day that I was able to get out of bed on my own two feet, get a shower, get my clothes on including socks and shoes, and do all of the other things the day brings all of which were unassisted by a cane, walker, wheelchair or another person. Until you have to depend on another person to help you do daily things (like getting yourself to the potty on days when you can’t move your leg because the pain is so bad that it sends your entire body into severe muscle spasms or when you have to have someone put your socks, shoes and pants on because you can’t bend down), it is easy to take for granted the ability to do all of these things and basically just to live life. Because I knew something that almost no one else knew it helped me to see my silver lining for my entire life…..it started out as this response after being given birthday wishes, “Thanks! I am 35 and alive!!”

    Having been through all of the difficult years (yes, years) leading up to the surgery and going the recovery process, I knew what a miracle I had been given. I was alive and completely able to walk on my own again!! Times haven’t always been great for us, but was let into the small club of people who know first hand how difficult life can truly be and given the gift of appreciation for all things, big or small.

    We all love you and well, for lack of a better way of saying this, “Welcome to the club.”

    • Meghan says:

      Wow. Yeah, I’m not sure I ever wanted to be part of this club, but I’m glad I’m not alone. Thank you for sharing your story, Cindy.

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