12 September 2015
A storm came through, in the early evening of Thursday. I listened to the wind roar and thick heavy raindrops plop down to earth. Shortly after it passed, I went out to my little patio garden to check on my tomato plant and see if it was still standing. The first thing I noticed was the light shining on the tree tops. That late summer/early autumn type of light that you only get at sunset.
Of course I went back in for my camera and came out to a beautiful rainbow. When I looked closer, I saw it wasn't just a rainbow, but a double rainbow. I stayed out for a while, taking photos and watching the clouds.
That rainbow though.
It came on a day I'd been feeling particularly down. Wondering what my life was for, why I was still alive. People tell me all the time how lucky I am, all the things I've lived through. Most times I don't feel lucky. Most times I feel sad and left behind. Mostly I feel worthless and useless. I'd always known what I wanted my life to be, how I wanted to live, what I wanted to do. Can I tell you, that not one single thing that I dreamed my life would be has happened.
No matter how hard I try to "stay positive", "be grateful for what you do have", I just don't see it often. Yes, it's been over ten years since my ovarian cancer diagnosis and I'm still here. Yes, I have a pretty nice roof over my head and am able to pay all my bills each month comfortably. Yes, I have health insurance that is pretty decent so my medical expenses are not insane (based on the amount of doctors I see, tests that are run and prescriptions I have to take). Those are definitely things to be grateful for, and I am.
I am also lonely, living a life I never wanted to live. Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would be living my life alone. I never imagined that I would be estranged from most of my relatives and basically cut off from my father. I never imagined that I would be childless, that I wouldn't have nieces or nephews to spoil and love. I never imagined I would be living in the city, in a town home of all things. I never imagined any of this.
I always knew I would be a mother, an aunt, a wife. I knew I would live in the country with bountiful gardens, tenderly caring for the land, the animals and my family. I knew I would teach my children, my nieces and nephews, my grandchildren the magic of the earth, the moon, the water, the sun. I knew I would spend my days caring for my family, my nights sheltered in my husbands arms. I just knew.
Joseph Campbell said, "We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
I found that quote after my diagnosis and printed it out once. I kept it on my wall at work among other photos and words. I would look at it and think, there is something better than what I dreamed and it is coming. Am I still waiting or is this it?
Is this the life that was waiting for me? Is this the life I'm supposed to live for the rest of my days? A life of loneliness and constant physical pain. Each day filled a little more with sadness and despair. Am I to be one of those old folks who gets tucked away into a nursing home because I can't care for myself and have no one who will care for me.
That rainbow though...
I looked up, watching the storm clouds float off to the east and the rainbow hold steady in the sky overhead. I watched as it slowly faded as twilight moved into night. I watched and thought maybe, just maybe, there is a better life coming soon.
love & blessings