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.