You ever hear any newlyweds respond to the standard question with, “Oh, we’ll probably have kids after I get my Master’s degree, after we buy our first house, and after our American Kennel Club litter of puppies is trained not to pee in our perfect French Colonial kitchen?” Right. Me neither. But I have heard people try to justify their decision as to whentheir very detailed life plans would come to fruition, including the ideal time to have their bumper-sticker-brag-worthy kids.
Haha. Good one.
I am absolutely and extraordinarily thankful that God blessed me with Liv before my transplant; the chemo rendered me unable to have more children afterwards. Timing on our own is never right. Our plans may seem entirely well and good when we brilliantly formulate them, but chances are somewhere along the line in the execution we jack them all up.
Yesterday morning I was at the gym working out with my trainer and the regulars were there. We were not only sparring with the gloves on, our March Madness was in full swing as well. (I hit Michigan fans harder.) When I asked where Gene was, everyone got instantly silent. “His wife died,” Evan said. “Cancer.”
Gene is in his late 60’s. He has 5 children, although one, a twin, died two years ago at the age of 21. She was on her way home from college for Thanksgiving. We were all incredibly sad when learning the news about Gene’s wife; yet, it somehow became even more unbearable after learning about his daughter’s premature death. The vicarious grief became unfair, unwarranted.
It reminded me of my uncle. The one who had taken care of my grandmother for years until she finally passed in February 2011. While it was sad when she left us, I’m sure he felt a little sense of relief as he could “get his life back” and fully retire with my aunt in Arizona…as was their plan. Except in October 2011 he was diagnosed with liver cancer. He was gone 4 months later, in February 2012.
Life doesn’t go according to plan; and it doesn’t stop. Ever. We may have just gotten through something, be going through something, or be perfectly fine when cancer shows up for an unexpected visit. It’s not part of anything we had written down on our grandiose Bucket Lists.
There is no perfect time for anything. Therefore, we must choose to live fully every day, be thankful for what we have, as well as for the things we don’t. Today I’m giving thanks for being cancer-free, for the people in my life, for learning from my mistakes (mostly), and for all of you who have gone through your own hardships – cancer possibly/probably included.
In case I haven’t said this lately, this campaign has been overwhelmingly humbling, fulfilling, and unbelievably emotional. I’ve grown close to Greyson and his family and pray for them daily. When I was in the midst of leukemia, fundraising for 10 solid weeks fourteen years later for LLS certainly wasn’t part of my plan.
I am SO glad plans change.
Less than a month! 29 days.