I turn off my light to go to sleep. It has been a busy day. In my mania, I have accomplished many tasks that I normally would have been too tired to do. For this, I am grateful. The garage looks great. The files are well organized. The kitchen is clean and the photos are sorted and carded into their appropriate categories. Nothing is completely finished, but a lot has been started. This is the nature of day three.
It is quiet, other than the croaks of the bullfrogs in the pond. Their strange sounds must serve some sort of mating purpose? It’s not that the sounds are pleasant. In fact, they are quite obtrusive, random, and dis-harmonic. Yet, they are comforting all the same. They remind me that it is June.
June was always a month of celebration. Dad’s birthday, Mom and Dad’s anniversary, Father’s Day … all in the same month. Then, there was the grind of final report cards followed by graduation. It was a time when students who had, after 30 some years or more, finally graduated from high school. These students would walk across the stage with their children in tow or with their grand-children cheering them on from the audience. June was a month full of new beginnings: new benchmarks, new years, new lives.
I wasn’t feeling very “Juney” tonight. I’m not sure when it’s the chemo drugs/ steroids talking or when it’s my real head chemicals which take a grip on my mood. It’s difficult to tell. Most often, the roller-coaster is a result of the drugs. I worry, though, that this may not always be the case – because – what if it is me? How do I overcome my mood swings?
Just as I was drowning in self-pity, just as I was feeling the bleak hopelessness that cancer can precipitate in the strongest of characters, just as I was filled with an emptiness that broke my heart in two… I heard the front door open. I listened. I waited to hear whose foot-steps they could be. It didn’t take long to realize those foot-steps belonged to one of my children – Ben. And that was all it took. Something filled my soul. The loneliness simply lifted. I had a purpose. I needed to be alive. Ben didn’t even have to come to my room to visit. I knew he – one of my children – was home and that was enough.
Good friends came to visit me today. They came in spite of hearing the news of the loss of one of their good friend’s child. She was 18. 18. I cried when I heard that news. I didn’t even know the family. How does one recover from a loss of that nature? It made my own situation seem so trivial. Here I am at the age of 52, thinking I’ll for sure see 53 – with a wonderful life filled with family and friends. I am so very, very blessed. I may have cancer, but I also have hope. Where is the hope for that family who is now fragmented. They are “broken souls”. How can this be June for them?
Ben brought my June back to me. Just by coming home. He is about to begin a summer job which will bring him joy, challenges, and … best of all… money! (grin) A new start.
Katya brought my June back to me – she is moving on with her life – beginning college in the fall for a career she is excited to begin.
David brought my June back to me – he needs a Mom. At the age of 13, he needs me to simply be his Mom. He is about to begin his summer vacation.
Kevin brought my June back to me. While my own father is not here to receive Father’s Day praises, Kevin is. He is a great father – he is not mine – but he most certainly is my children’s. And that tradition of June celebration will continue for him.
It’s sometimes astounding how much can change in life over a very short period of time. For me, June celebrations have shifted dramatically as the three main events of my childhood have now been taken away. They have, however, been replaced by so many more celebrations in my mid-life. It is time to begin June anew. I will never forget what June meant to me. Ever. But is it time to move June forward – to breathe new life into it and to bring June up to pace with today.
Seize the day. Celebrate. Enjoy the changes that this summer promises to bring.