Seven years ago, when I was enduring chemotherapy, I came across this quote:
Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth or bury my face in the pillow or stretch myself taut or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return. -Mary Jean Iron
The normal day. Even the last two years on milder chemotherapy, it was the normal day that I pushed for. A day without exhaustion and a dry mouth. A day of running errands, not a running IV.
And now, thanks to the three pills I swallow each morning, I have it. I walk my daughter to school in the sunlight. I wake up thinking about what I’m going to do with the day rather than gauging how I’m feeling. I sign up for field trips with Zoe’s class checking against my work calendar, not my treatment calendar too. I go into work early and don’t crash by 2 p.m. Zoe goes to an evening event and asks me if I’ll be in bed when she gets home. “Bed?” I think. “But you’ll be home by 8 o’clock.” Oh, right, 8:00 would often find me in bed last year. My mom and dad plan their October trips without worrying over who will be accompanying me to treatment and checking in with me each day as to how I’m feeling. I do my daily tasks, the laundry, the cleaning, the grocery shopping, the cooking, all without calling in the usual reinforcements. My bed does not call to me during the day. I actually have time to do crafts and the energy to entertain friends. Mark and I have actual conversations after Zoe is asleep.
This is the me I remember. The one who’s been gone for awhile but is always welcomed back with open arms. The capable and competent me.
Normal day, I’m aware of the treasure you are. Am I wrong to want to hoard you?