Don’t start. I know it already. It’s been too long. I’ve been slacking and I’m not proud of myself. When I started this blog, I wanted to try my very best to make it the one thing I stuck with from beginning to, well, there really is no end. And that’s what brought me back here today, Sunday, July 20, 2014.
On August 31 you’ll celebrate your one-year anniversary.
This September 10th will mark a year since Fil and I made the move to Portland, ME.
And on October 2nd I’ll sit down at the table for my morning coffee where I sat a year ago and cried after mom called to say, “I have some bad news.”
I was sitting there, Fil wasn’t quite home yet. I had just gotten off the phone and Butch, our maintenance man, arrived to fix our stove. I offered him water and though I thought I could hide it, when he saw the tears in my eyes he sighed and said, “We’ll get ‘er fixed, hon. Won’t take long.”
Once Fil arrived, we sat at the table and held hands while Butch fixed our shitty little stove. Thinking it over, I wonder if Butch really thought that’s what I was crying over. It would explain why he’s so quick to come switch the breakers each time I blow a fuse.
I was in the car with Shannen today, heading to the Yarmouth Clam Festival. Yeah, that’s a thing here. I could tell Shannen was out of it. She’s usually upbeat and chatty. Today she just wanted to ride, so I let her. I cranked up the country and we drove. An hour in the wrong direction to be truthful. After a while I asked Shannen what was up. How she was feeling?
“I feel like I’m in limbo.”
“I feel like I’m not going anywhere. Nothing is happening for me.”
I thought about it for a minute. I’m getting better at holding onto my thoughts and articulating them when the time is right.
“Shannen, I think we’re all used to things happening very fast in our generation. And I think we might be at a spot, you know, after high school, after college, when things might start slowing down for us. And I think it’s okay to let it slow down.”
She shook her head, not really satisfied, but I was. I took that hour drive going the wrong way to really think about the passage of time.
Just yesterday mom told me, “Fil will be home before you know it. Everything just goes so quickly anymore.” And that was really telling. Momma has come to a point where her life is picking up pace again. She see’s her eldest daughter married with a baby girl and her youngest living ten hours away and teaching. Gram and Pap are getting older, though Gram would hate that it’s in writing now, published for anyone in the world to see, but it is true. We’re all getting older, but it’s mom, it’s gram, it’s pap who see it. Why? Because one minute they see a bald, chubby little towhead and the next minute Paige has flipped her Barbie Jeep from driving too fast.
Time. It’s a tricky little bastard, huh? Some days it feels like it’s not moving at all as you stare at your ceiling fan, wondering if you’ll ever pass your permit test and how the hell did Jeri get her permit before you when she’s like seven months younger, and if you don’t pass it, how will you ever leave Martinsburg??? And other days you’re sitting in your apartment with your cat and your things and your bills and wondering how in the hell will you ever pay for new tires so you can get back to Martinsburg???
Time. That bastard.
It won’t feel like a year ago to me. I’m not sure it will ever feel like it’s in the past. Cancer isn’t an old boyfriend. Well, except for that one Italian guy. He was a real tumor, but that’s another story…
Cancer will never be in our past. It will never be history. We will never talk about it in terms of “remember that time you had cancer?” Not you, mom, or I. It will always be part of our present. We will always be on the watch and there will always be that tiny bit of fear. Yesterday I was reminded to schedule my yearly OBGYN appointment and this year I will be requesting my first mammogram, really making breast cancer a part of my own present.
This week mom will have the BRCA test and we will finally know whether or not this was a coincidence or simply fate. And if it was fate, if it is fate, we will be ready this time.
October 2nd will mark the day you were diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago and the day my stove broke. Things have never been quite the same since, but I’ll tell you one thing….
This morning I made one mean BLT.