Everyone Loves a Parade

Don

Everyone Loves a Parade

Don
First published November 18, 2012 on facingcancer.ca

This weekend has been a whirlwind of family activity, cheer, anticipation, and community.

One year ago this weekend was a maelstrom.  At least Kate and I think it was. To be frank we don’t really remember much.  We know we took the boys to the Santa Claus parade.  We know we froze our collective tukus. We know there were lots of people on the street and we recall that the Grandparents were with us.

Last year at this time Kate had cancer in her.  Last year Santa wasn’t coming down the chimney with a bag full of toys.  He was descending with a scalpel and the promise of many uncertain months ahead to be filled with a multitude of insults to my beautiful bride’s body.  Last year at this time the parade was populated by frightening visions of a cloudy future when neither of us knew if there were any more parades in our future, if there was indeed a future of any sort that would revolve around the joyful celebration of life.

So, yesterday, as we basked in a glorious sun-filled November day Kate and I were overcome with genuine gratitude for small pleasures become large.  As we watched our handsome sons perch on the curb to view the passing bands, dancers and prancers we breathed deeply the scent of relief.  Joined by family and friends we honestly don’t know if they even understood how blessed Kate and I felt to be in the embrace of hope and optimism.

We fully know that our joint future remains uncertain and we acknowledge that the latent fears will never leave us completely but here’s what we do know well now – things really can be as bad as they seem.  What we learned is that how we respond is what makes the difference.

On this front I have so many people to thank but none more than Kate.  Her raw strength of character and ability to plumb depths of powerful reserves that not even she realized were present are what have helped this little family resurrect itself from the gaping maw of fear.  My darling’s commitment to reinvention and recreation through a variety of means has breathed new fresh air into the lungs of 15 Holyrood.

In the next week we have some more pivotal moments to experience.  She has an MRI and we have another meeting with her surgical oncologist at PMH.  Regardless of how much one prepares for these events one can’t help but experience a large dollop of trepidation.  What seems eons ago now becomes refreshed and as hugely present as a slathering dog.  What seems unreal and fantastic becomes raw and unblemished in its starkness.  Where once there was ignorance there now resides knowledge.  Where once dread dominated – well, dread still raises its ugly head.

How it differs now though is that we have faith in our ability to overcome.  We have faith in determinedly living each day to its fullest and grabbing hold of those special yet formerly mundane moments in the parade of life where we recapture our childlike sense of wonder and exult in the beauty of a clear November sky and the smell of fall filling the air.

For all of you out there riding shotgun, whether from near or afar, your faith in the person for whom you’re caring can define your ability to sustain the required level of loving, patience, determination, and perseverance.  This is not a parade in which anyone would choose to have a float but since we’re here we might as well make it as rich an experience as possible.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Keep the faith people.  We’ll get back to you after upcoming events.

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