TWO Years

It seems like only yesterday, I can remember the air in the room was instantly sucked out. The words still lingering in the air….

But here we are TWO years later from the day that they initially said the dreaded words…

To mark the day, I wanted to share a chapter from my second book, Facing Fifty. Be sure to read through to the end! ❤

LIVE LIKE YOU’RE DYING

No, I’m not going to sing you the Tim McGraw song (you’re welcome!) but I will dance you through a melody of life and love and illness.

MyLove hadn’t been feeling well; and began doctoring for something that appeared to be relatively uncomplicated; until the newly assigned specialist spoke the words everyone dreads. “This is cancer”. To say we were shocked to our core is an understatement. The doctor stepped out of the room, before the nurse entered the room to inform us of the “what’s next”, they allowed us (me) several minutes to process. I just sobbed uncontrollably.

In the days that followed, we dove headfirst into the diagnostics that would determine the course of “what’s next”, a myriad of tests and scans and probes. In those days, we shared the battle MyLove was facing with those closest to us. We were transparent and didn’t hide our hurts or our fears and especially not our tears.

One particular evening, we were at a local hangout with friends. Often when we are out, I declare a battle with the jukebox and all who dare to play it. (Do they still call them jukeboxes?) I love most music, my life has always had a soundtrack playing in the background.  MyLove also has the love of music and is additionally gifted with a beautiful singing voice, on occasion I can talk him into singing karaoke. Like most karaoke stars, he has a signature song – Desperado by the Eagles. That night, on the jukebox, I played ‘his’ song if only to take him to that place where I know that song glimmers in his eyes and his voice shines. This time was different. This time, the light in his eyes was replaced with tears as he stood up and he took my hand. There, in a crowded bar, we danced like we were the only two people on the planet. Our tears rolled like rivers and we could not have cared less. We were dancing in the fight of his life.

In the weeks to follow, we had big conversations and made BIG decisions. I am weirdly thankful, even in the shittiest of those circumstances. We spoke freely and openly.  We became very selfish with our time together and with whom we shared time. MyLove is very generous with his friendships and I have learned so much from him just in bearing witness to his love of others.

Fast forward a handful of weeks and yet, more probes and hospital visits, we returned to the specialist to receive the “what’s next” news. The doctor said the shocking words… “this is NOT cancer!” While we rejoiced, we learned that MyLove has a manageable, yet incurable auto-response disease. I (honestly) was doubtful and fearful and went into, not Mama-Bear mode, but Barracuda mode. I wanted to strike this doctor and berate her for having done this to my family. The sleepless nights, the fears, the tears and the weeks we lost.

It’s only now, with some time and perspective, can I reflect and exhale deeply…

Yes, we sought a second opinion.

Yes, he is on an effective treatment plan and is doing relatively well.

And yes, I continue to look back on that couple solo-spotlight dancing in a crowded bar. I look back at the conversations and decisions we made for US. We spoke deep love and affection, with gut wrenching honesty. We ventilated the negatives in our life, the duality of the “I love you’s” vs. “fuck off’s”.

And yet, to live like you’re dying should not be squandered on the dying. It is in those moments we are truly living. I’m not sure I have many regrets. Certainly, there are things that I wish had ended differently or the wish that I hadn’t hurt people, as well as a handful I wished I had used a few of those ‘fuck off’s”. To have regret means that you wish it had never happened. I have learned more about light while sitting in the darkness. I have learned about life while looking at death.

It is here where I find my longing, perhaps it is also true of you…To dance more with zero cares of what anyone thinks

♥ To be transparent and open, to not hide away my hurts and fears

♥ To be more protective and selfish with my time and with whom I spend time

♥ To defend and strike with venomous force against anyone and everything that dares to rob our joy

♥ To speak more openly and freely the words of truth and love

♥ And to say ‘fuck off’ a little more often

Scars

My Lovelies, I’m gonna be really real and raw here. And before I go any further, this post may be triggering for some.

If you find yourself in crisis (of any kind) please reach out…

I learned today of a former friend, of my former life, was arrested on multiple counts of child sexual assault. As heart sick as I am, I had the moment of doubt…

I know this guy

Can’t possibly be true

Cuz, I know this guy

As I investigated a bit more, link after link began to form a chain. And then, I read a post of one of his victims (then a young boy) from nearly 2 decades ago.

I know this kid

It has to be true.

Cuz, I know this kid

But this is the reality… “Those” guys look like everyone else. There’s no big sign that screams, Predator! There is no wolf disguised as a “grandma” like a fairy tale. They are people we know. The system failed 17 years ago for that young boy, and more victims occurred.

I stayed silent about my own sexual assault at age 10 (not related to this case). I was assaulted by a family member at 13. I always wondered about those that may have been abused after me. The guilt of staying silent has haunted and shaken me for years. I reached out and did the work towards healing. While my wounds are aren’t always scars that have totally healed, some days they are more like scabs that I pick at and reopen.

I say all of this to create solidarity. Not sympathy. This story may find you in your own wounds.

  • I pray for peace for each of us.
  • I pray that your healing comes.
  • I pray that restoration is on its way.
I believe you

I’d like to say that I’m praying for the perpetrator too. I’d like to, I’m just not there yet.

Birthday

Dear Big Brother,

Today, you would have been 58 and in a few short weeks, I’ll be 50… You could see 50 so closely the day you left this world, were you excited about it?

This is such a weird journey on my own. Yes, I have lots of people in my circle, many of the names and faces you would remember. Our family-circle has shifted and changed and it still isn’t right without you here. Even though we not super involved in each others day-to-day life; I always had the promise of you. I always knew you were at the other end of an email or phone call. And now, now I can’t help but feel a little lost.

So in true Little Sister fashion, Big Brother, I have a few questions…

Is there Bingo in heaven, if not, I bet Mom is super pissed

Has Dad made peace with God yet?

Is Grandma Hedges still gloating over all the times she gave me the wrong ingredients to a recipe, so I’d fail and she would be needed to make it right?

Is Uncle Stan still playing the piano and telling bad jokes?

Did DiAnn make in the gate ok? She probably gave Saint Peter a rough time

I don’t remember Grandma Blanchard, does she remember me?

Does Jesus still do the water into wine trick? Golly, I hope so

Uncle Hink still has a harem, doesn’t he?

Will you save a seat for me, next to you? I’ve got a lot of shit yet to do here and lots of people to annoy.

Miss you much.

XOXOXO,

Me ❤️

p.s. I still haven’t forgiven you for locking me in the dryer, but we’ll hash that out when I get there