Change: The Only Constant

A year after my husband, Sheldon, died in 2010, I moved to Vancouver and am now happily ensconced in this beautiful city. Warm and loving family members live nearby, helping me adapt to this new stage of life. I live in a pleasant, comfortable seniors’ residence that is more than a place to live. It is home. Surrounded by friendly people, fed excellent food, entertained by more events than I am able to handle, I am content.

The summer of 2015 was beautiful in many ways. Warm weather, only scattered showers, wonderful weather for walking along a beach eating an ice cream cone. I had my share of enjoying these days with friends and family. My idle summer days were special treats, squeezed in as they were between visits to one doctor after another.

My memories of the past summer cover both the joy of perfect days, and learning that I have cancer and a heart which beats with an unusual rhythm, so that treatment of the cancer by surgical methods is unattractive.

Despite the cold reality of my diagnosis, I feel great. My life remains full, busy, and enjoyable. The medical specialists are treating the cancer, which is a slow-growing type, with a non-surgical method. Re-assessment will be done as needed.

So where does this leave me? After all these years, I understand my temperament. I operate best when I understand what I am facing, and what must be done. My life can be adjusted to meet the changing needs, and once done I am content. So it will be this time too.

Will you see a difference in me? Probably – but not in my day-by-day life. My writing may take the brunt of my adjustment to the new reality. Be prepared to be bombarded with my musings about approaching the end of my current stage of life, and my curiosity about what follows.

Don Blanding wrote a poem called “The Rest of the Road.” It has been a favourite of mine for years. Viewing life from where I stand now, the words of the last verse describe my feelings exactly.

How long? How far? How hard? How fine?
How heavy or light the load?
If it’s half as good as the half I’ve known,
Here’s Hail! to the rest of the road.


Filed under This & That

20 Responses to Change: The Only Constant

  1. Doreen

    Oh Marjorie!!!! I am so sorry to learn you have cancer!! I will keep you in my prayers !! I miss you so. I am working with a couple at The Lodge who have serious dementia. They are very nice, only memory problems . You never had that problem. Please take care of your self! Love Doreen

    • Marjorie

      Doreen – Thank you for your response. I really am doing well, no exaggeration. Remember my age! I’ve already beat the odds, and probably have a long time yet. Best wishes.

  2. Thank you for sharing this turn in the road with us, Marjorie. I hope our prayers can lighten the burden of this diagnosis — happy returns on your investment in your readers.

    • Marjorie

      Laurna, great to hear from you. It is helpful to know what the immediate future holds. Uncertainty is always a hard thing to handle. For now I am well, and have a long list of things I enjoy doing. As for the future – does anyone ever know?

  3. Norma Lendrum

    So very sad to hear about your cancer. My very best wishes go out to you. I so enjoy your writing and look forward to more. Your words of wisdom are precious and greatly appreciated.

    • Marjorie

      Norma – Don’t be sad, for Heaven’s sake, remember my 93 years! I’ve already beaten the odds, and I’m not done yet. Glad you enjoy my “words”, I’m not so sure about the wisdom of them!

  4. Dorothy

    Change is constant indeed. What I have always admired about you is the way that you face it head-on as you obviously are with this new twist. I hope you know that there are many others walking along side you in spirit.
    Take care Marjorie – every moment is precious!

    • Marjorie

      I agree, Dorothy – every day is a gift. Do you realize that it is 70 years since I first met your family? It is an amazing thing to live long enough to see generations follow one another into one’s extended “family”. I’m aiming at 100, and may make it yet.

  5. Kathleen

    Another lovely and meaningful post! Love you, Gram. xoxo

    • Marjorie

      That love goes both ways, Kathleen. Keep in touch. I will keep on churning out posts. It is nice to know you read them.

  6. Ian H.

    Mrs. G., I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed getting re-acquainted with you this fall, when I was out there with Ralph for the concert. A highlight was the Sky Tram at Squamish.
    Thanks for your hospitality then and I hope to see you before long again.
    Cheers, Ian

    • Marjorie

      It was great for me, too, Ian. Strange, isn’t it – physically we change, but the seed of who we are seems to remain. Hopefully the flowers of my character have flourished, and the weeds have been pulled out. I strongly suspect my family and friends would suggest some serious weed-pulling could still be done!

  7. Thank you for your moving recognition of life circumstances. Whether we recognized it or not, we are always on the rest of the road. Our approach to the journey is key to our own personal development. Glad to know that personal development still excites you.

    • Marjorie

      Judith – I have always seen life as an exciting journey down an unknown path. Sometimes we get lost, or wander about, but most often we learn some lessons and move on. Realism is a great tool, a real crutch in many a tight spot. I expect to enjoy the time left to me, and it could well be longer than people expect when they hear the word cancer! Nice to hear from you.

  8. Hi, Marjorie: Yes, we all appreciate your stories. And yes, they are wise. Wisdom not only comes with your years, but with the constant love and attention you have applied to all you have done.
    I wrote “rainbow” in 2007 when I realized that although we don’t live in Camelot (where it rains only in the evening), we should notice we are in a good place, and the right place. And you do, with good cheer. Thanks for your writings. Jock


    it should rain in the evening
    when we are asleep
    for we would work in the sunshine
    forgetting rainbows need sunshine too

    but it rains when it rains
    no one really knows when
    and we get unexpectedly drenched
    while we are busily helping

    good work and good intentions
    are not enough to stop the rain
    some things are no one’s fault
    so we turn the page – reset the clock

    not everything has a reason
    not every rainbow reaches the ground

    • Marjorie

      Jock – Thank you for your support and approval. For sure good friends are the gems which keep our lives rich. A special thanks for including your “Rainbow” poem. One day I’ll get back to Calgary for a reunion.

  9. Leone Jobson

    Hi Marjorie,
    I, too, am sorry you have to deal with the big C. I hope you will find it more of a nuisance than a problem. I admire your approach…and consider it a blessing that we have your example to follow. Dave recently had hip replacement surgery. He is doing very well but finds it hard to be a patient patient!

    • Marjorie

      Not denying that I could do without my physical oddities, the chances look good that they will prove to be, as you say in your comment, more of a nuisance than a problem! Considering that I feel well, am pain free, it’s no trick to ignore the whole business. If things change I’ll know. In the meantime life goes on normally, and I’m busy and enjoying myself. Nice to be in contact Leone.

  10. Eveline Goodall

    It is so very like you to be so honest and open with us all. Blessings, dear heart, and much love. Talk soon. Eveline

    • Marjorie

      Eveline – You will be interested in knowing that my last check-up, which was this morning, got a good rating. Not exactly an “All Clear” statement, but a “Carry on with present plan, things looking fine.” I’m happy with that!