Monday, December 12, 2011

What's next: June 25, 2006

I wrote this during a pretty dark time to remind myself that we had seen even darker times, and that I needed to appreciate the good when it came around.

The best effect of this kind of thinking is that, when the darkness really lifts, it makes the truly good times look absolutely amazing.

Sometimes someday sneaks up on you
    I stood on a beach in Florida last week, watching my toddler shove his toes into the wet sand as his father and older brother played nearby in the waves, and I realized something: This is someday.

    I’ve been waiting for someday, and it finally came.

    When my mother was diagnosed with an aggressive, advanced cancer three years ago this month, I remember telling her through tears: Someday this will be something that happened years ago. We will talk about this terrible news, and we will say, "Do you remember how awful it was? Do you remember how scared we were?"

    Someday this will be over, I said. Someday this will be a bad memory we will look at together.

    And I hoped it was true.

    During that same time, when my husband and I were sad and bewildered after more than a year of infertility, we told each other: Someday we will find a way to have a second child. Maybe it won’t be the way we thought, but it will happen. Our son will have a little brother or sister someday.

    And we hoped it was true.

    My mother endured a grueling 10 months of extensive treatment for cancer. I will never forget the January days she and I spent in the hospital in Knoxville where she had surgery.

    I could not get warm in that place. I could not stop shaking. I have never wished so hard for someday.

    But April eventually came, and it was beautiful. My mother finished treatment. She got stronger all the time.

    And a month later, long after my husband and I had simply stopped waiting for him, our second baby began. He was born in January 2005, the day after my mother’s birthday, and one year after those cold days my mother and I spent in that Knoxville hospital.

    So now we have someday, and we all took a trip to the beach — my mother, my two boys, my husband and I — where we had a fine time enjoying it.

    I talked about it with my husband over dinner one night, and he pointed out the truth about someday: It comes in stages and never really finishes arriving.

    We have hit some big, bad weather the last few years, and we have made it through, but we’re always looking to clear the next hurdle.

    One reason we came to Florida was to visit my smart, funny grandmother, who was preparing to have heart surgery. She faces weeks of difficult recovery — if she survives the operation. Surgeons figure she’s got a 50-50 chance of getting through it, and a 100 percent chance of living a short, miserable rest of her life if she doesn’t have the procedure. So she’s having the surgery. And we’re all hoping it will be something we will recall someday as the decision that bought her years to watch her great-grandchildren grow.

    Meanwhile, on our someday B-list is a mysterious case of Achilles tendonitis that has made my husband’s every step painful for the last 10 months, and our recent purchase of a big, expensive fixer-upper of a house that turns out to have a kennel of barking, nocturnal dogs in the neighbor’s yard behind our bedroom. Not to mention the apparently endless bout of teething that has made our youngest son miserable for months.

    Someday we are going to figure our how to fix my husband’s feet. And someday we are going to find a way to sleep in our "quiet" new neighborhood. And someday all the baby’s teeth will be in. And then we can start worrying about the next thing.

    My grandmother is having surgery as I write this. I’m hoping hard for that someday.

    But I’m also glad for this one, and that’s the key, my husband and I decided over dinner in a little Caribbean restaurant in Florida: Recognize and enjoy your somedays when they arrive, even if they are accompanied by aching feet, teething babies and barking dogs.

No comments:

Post a Comment