Don't fold. FLM Friday
2 favorite quotes this week. One a true Fightlikemike special :)
As I thought Im might get my life in order this week as all three kids would finally be in school a few days, I am sitting at home with one sick. Life is not perfect and never will be. There will never be a day where all will be in line. So I decided to embrace the day and spend some time writing instead of perfecting my life.
So this post will not be perfect either. Life is messy, I am learning to play in the messes too.
Is this the other name for Heaven , when devotion to a path ends with us becoming part of the path? Is this the journey I fear and crave ?
The journey we have been on the past two and a half years has been one that I feared all my life. I have always been afraid of illness. Illness attacking people I love or myself has made me a chronic worrier from childhood on. I am not sure where it stemmed from, yet I have always feared it. I fainted in doctors offices, school hallways after Red Cross videos, in the car after vommiting siblings, and so on and so on. I think family began to worry more about me in an incident than the person it was happening to. I am not proud of it, actually quite embarrassed by this character trait.
I overcame some of my fears after becoming a mom and being forced to be in a hospital for the birth of my children. There was no getting out of being there for those events. But I did start to feel a little more comfortable with iv’s , I could finally at least sit up for one and only took one wet rag on my forehead to recover.
But when Mike got sick , the ultimate fear happened to me. The person I love more than life, the person I planned to do life with was REALLY sick. And the journey I feared for so long became our reality.
The focus on myselfish self was over. We were walking into a new world where we were a true walking living fear of not only mine but so many. I think we ran on autopilot for months. Surving off the care of others and the numbness of drugs for Mike and busyness and adrenaline for me. Not truly allowing ourselves to feel the depth of what we were going through. I believe these are survival tactics our bodies are made to use in initial shocking circumstances.
But over these couple years, the hamster wheel slowed at times enough for me to reflect and realize how our lives have changed.
I think we have a choice at this point …
To become better or bitter. To choose hope or despair. To choose to quit or get back up again.
To become the path and crave it. Not fear it.
I asked Mike for some enlightening words of wisdom recently about this journey, He gave me the usual crazed look like I was weird.
But he did have one thing to say , very true to himself -
Some times you are given a shitty hand of cards. You either get another hand and keep playing OR you fold. And I’m not folding.
He won’t fold. I have tried on many arguments to get him to so I thank God for that fighting spirit that he has. I’m grateful that he is willing to keep playing the shitty hands. Bc there have been a few dealt. Stubborn? Yes. But I thank God he won’t fold to this journey.
And so when I read this quote-
I realize that over these years we have become part of this path.
This path we have feared , I now crave.
I crave it because it has opened me to a love I didn’t know exists. I know I talk about it often but I think it’s worth beating the dead horse over.
I’ve come to realize that whether I am in the most beautiful place on earth ( latest pick Blackberry Farm, Tennessee) or I am lying on an a hard slide out sofa next to him in the dark walls of the hospital it does not matter. Love is deep because I have experienced the latter with him. Because we have been broken together.
Mike has chosen to embrace every step of this journey. To find a friend in his doctor, to not look back , not forward but just at what the day brings in the next moment.
He has worked , played, fought, gardened, traveled, road in a mardi gras parade, been a dad , loved , and lived while embracing the fact that cancer is running through his body. All the while fighting for his life, each day. He is LIVING with leukemia and up for whatever challenge it brings.
I think we are becoming this path. And that’s why some days,feel like for me , heaven. I’m not sure I will find a feeling closer to heaven than those nights in the hospital next to him. Our world had stopped. While everything was going full speed all around us. And even though the pain was unimaginable, the love was even more unimaginable.
Mark nepo says ,
“As humans we have no control over grace”
And that’s the only explanation for the peace, Grace.
I knew Mike had become the path when he told me that, if the only way he would have to meet Dr Kota was to have to have cancer , he would do it again.
People.People have also made us crave this journey. Our army , our family , Mikes nurses and doctors, friends, strangers and on and on.
For me the path I crave is watching this man, overcome obstacles I doubted would happen. It’s an honor to be by his side.To learn how to play cards his way. His courage never ceases to amaze me and it’s knowing we are each other’s number 1 , that makes me crave this journey even more. It is an honor to be loved by him and I would choose this path over and over again to be next to him.
Choose to keep playing when the cards dealt are crappy. Choose to not fold when the going gets tough. Choose faith over fear. And choose to become part of your path. It will feel similar to heaven, I do believe.