the story continues

I have long been silent on this blog, for a number of reasons. I could say that it’s because life got busy, and that would be true, but it’s more than that. I guess the main reason is that I was starting to get overwhelmed by how much everyone tends to overshare on social media, and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do that anymore. I love the idea of having a place to record my thoughts and dreams and random sillyness. I also love having a creative outlet – my job is not a creative one and sometimes I feel like it saps the creativity right out of me. What do I? To sum up: copy edit. There are stringent grammar, style and punctuation rules that need to be adhered to, and at the end of the day, I no longer want to be sitting in front of a computer. Particularly when the rest of life needs to be attended to.

Throughout the past couple of years of radio silence, I have started drafts of posts, but I have never gone back to complete them, never quite sure how to express what I have wanted to say. This past year and a bit have been, well, hard. My sister has cancer. Even typing those words brings me to tears.

I have sat beside her through the worst of her days, I have done the talking in doctor’s appointments when she couldn’t find the strength to speak, I have watched over her while she slept fitfully after her days of chemo and radiation. And when the treatment was over, I have tried to be someone she can turn to with her frustrations, fears, and general randomness of life.

There are many days when I feel like a part of my soul is cracked from the emotional strain of this past year. Particularly because while I strive to be the rock that my big sister requires, I am also the the mom to two beautiful, very young, boys who need me to be their comfort and support while they find their way through life.

Here’s the thing: even though I have sat with my sister at countless doctor’s appointments and I have learned all that I could about her type of cancer (squamous cell carcinoma of unknown primary), I am realizing more and more as each day passes how separate I am from her. We are walking together through this path, and we are both nervous and scared, but it is her life that has been altered forever. No matter how much I want to help and support her, and even though I fully understand what is happening to her body, I will never really know what is happening in her heart and in her mind.

I am deeply wounded by living through this with her, but I am merely a bystander. There are many days when I want to let my fear and sorrow consume me, but I can’t. We don’t know how many months or years she has left of this life, and that is so hard for me to grasp, but I’m sure that it’s even more devastating to her and her children.

While she prepares herself for the possible surgery to remove what is left of a tumour, I am still living my (ever-so-slightly mundane) existence and planning for the future. So here it is: I also feel guilt and plenty of it. She is facing months of recovery, and possibly losing some mobility, while I consider what colour to paint my bedroom walls. It’s an awful thing. And I wish someone could tell me that everything was going to be just fine.

Advertisements

the long and winding road

I’ve been silent for a while. Life, as always, has been busy, but there’s more to it than that. I started doing freelance editing about two days after I quit my full-time job, and for the past few months many of my nights and weekends have been spent in front of the laptop. Some nights I would work a full 7 hours after tucking the boys into bed. I couldn’t even think about writing anything interesting, and the last thing that I wanted was to spend any more time in front of my laptop. I’m at the end of a long stretch, though. The final book that I’m editing in 2012 will be completed by the end of the week, and I’ve decided that I’m going to take a much lighter workload from now on. I need time to think, time to play with the boys, and time to just relax. I haven’t had enough of that lately.

Image
Yes, they are in the trunk section of the car. No, I wasn’t driving so they remained safe the whole time. Although they begged me to let them sit back there for the drive home.

And beyond my work, there has been a lot going on. Brendan started school, we had part of our house reno’d, Brendan turned 4 (OMG!), and I have rediscovered my love of cooking delicious meals. I will get back to writing about the wonderfulness of my children, I promise. And I will share photos of our brand new office and anything else that seems remotely interesting to me, but which might bore the average person to tears.

I will oblige and share a photo, but for today, those worthy subjects will have to wait. Right now I feel like writing about something that has been tugging at my heart since I heard the news.Today I discovered that an old friend died after a long battle with cancer.

In the wonderful and weird world of Facebook, I found out by seeing a post on my “newsfeed”, that came directly from her wall. I haven’t spoken to Tina in about 10 years, but we kept in touch via the occasional facebook message, and I sent her words of encouragement as she navigated through her cancer treatments.

Continue reading “the long and winding road”