Chemotions

“…it’s easy to be nostalgic about the past. We can sit for hours and day dream, we can feel the very same emotions we knew when living in our favorite house, even as we drive by it. We can spend countless hours trying to make the present like the past, that it prevents us from planning the more tangible joys of the present, the here and now, and the future.”

Mimi Janet wrote that. It was part of a speech she had written for a woman named Ruth Brown, who must have run a church program in D.C. I would love to do my research and find out. Anyway, in the speech Mimi talks about her life as a “PK” (preacher’s kid), India, growing up, and eventually becoming a “PW” (preacher’s wife, not to be confused with POW, but I imagine much the same). 🙂

I thought I would share her words with you because, well, I could use some help. Today is your first day of chemo and I am, for one of the first, and I pray last times, lost for words. I really don’t know what to say, sis. I wish I could say, “you won’t feel a thing” or, “it’ll only be a pinch,” but unfortunately I don’t think that’s the case.

Mimi Janet went through chemo. Maybe more than once, I could be mistaken. As dad has told me, she was in a lot of pain and at times felt very angry towards her situation and those around her. I think if you ever feel that way, we will all understand.

But I like what she says about the past, about trying to make now as good as then. It’s natural. We all have those moments of self-pity, of letting our sappy emotions take hold, trying to drown us in the waters of regret, doubt, or anxiety. But we’ve got to keep afloat, we’ve got to keep treading. This morning I was feeling all of these about my film class. Worrying that I hadn’t done my job, that I’d rushed my students’ projects because I was unprepared, that I was going to be a laughing stock. And Fil, over his cup of espresso (because he loves to let his European loose hehe), said, “Babe, you were thrown into waters you’ve never swum and you were able to tread the whole time, even swim.” That made me feel good. I’ll admit, I am not the Michael Phelps of teaching, but I can do a few laps. And with more practice, soon I’ll be—okay, the Olympics is a reach, but you get the idea.

Chemo and cancer are the waters you’ve never tread. We were never the kids who went to the hospital all the time. We never really got sick. Mom didn’t pump us full of antibiotics with every sneeze and sniffle. So, the idea of being in a hospital with…”sick” people is quite foreign. But, as easy as it will be to think of how happy you were two months ago; newly married, on top of the world, writing Thank You cards to friends and family for the wonderful night we all spent dancing, laughing ,and singing, I don’t want you to stop thinking about the times to come. Because I promise you, they will be filled with dance, laughter, and song.

So, best friend, big sister, keep treading just a little bit longer. We’re all here to pull you out. I absolutely cannot wait for your visit this weekend. Fil and I have a ton planned!

Mimi Janet finished her speech with this, “We find what is possible for us and go for it. We each light our own little candle in our own individual way, and rest in the faith that if God loved even the tiny, little sparrow, how much more is His love for us.”

I love you.

Much love,

Liv

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