Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chapter 7 - Broken But Blessed

The last 3 years have been hard on us. It started like a TV show,  in the middle of the night,  at precisely 2:59 AM. The door bell rings.  As you climb your way out of sleep, wondering if you really heard the doorbell, it rings again.  Who on earth could that be?  It Can’t be good.  I quickly pushed on Mike, who only groaned and rolled over, so I decided to brave it on my own. Looking through the peep hole I see two men in uniforms. It’s the police. Maybe it was a break-in?

"Is there someone else home with you?  You should go get them." 

Now I know this really "can’t be good!" As I go get Mike, thoughts run through my head.

 "Who do we know that the police would come to us for? My Mom? No, they would phone Mark, not me, ..... "

Then the officer begins to talk, "Is Wade Davis your father"

More thoughts race in my head "oh, no, Dad! Is he ok, sick, no police don’t come for that, hurt, was it...."  

My thoughts are interrupted by,  "I'm sorry to inform you, he was involved in a car accident, .... he didnt survive."

How the breathe just leaves you in that moment. "How? Where?" He tells us some of the details. Phrases like, flipped multiple times, thrown from the car, caught on fire..... Horrific..... I feel the need to sit. The kind policeman leaves. Nausea sets in. At this point there aren’t any tears, just shock. Until I think of waking the boys, and telling them their Grandpa has died. All the things he was bursting to teach them, he won’t get the chance to do that now. That’s when then the tears came.

The shock of a sudden death is numbing.  I couldn’t even think of what to put in my suitcase. What do people pack? Wandering aimlessly in the bedroom looking at drawers blankly. Then driving up island at 5:00 to go to the police station for his things. Vastly out of the norm. What followed was even more numbing. 

5 weeks later my Grandma died. It was at her memorial that I picked up my Dads ashes. Too close, far too close.

Besides the emotional fallout that has come from my Dad's death, which has been huge, his property was a nightmare to deal with. Nothing goes smoothly it seems. Let me get out my list, the list of lamentations..... He was partly renovating the house at the time so things needed to be done, there wasn't even a furnace, we needed a new roof on the garage, the hot water tank went within just a week of his death, we had hassles with the ex over RRSP's, a problem with the ownership of some of the property, even a threat to sue his estate! Not to mention the sheer mountains of stuff. And its not the kind of stuff you can just throw in the dumpster either.  My Dad was a mechanic and an antique collector. We didn't even know what some of it was. It took us 3 years just to get the bulk of it sold and straitened away. And don’t forget, we still had our own lives to live, our own business to run. I barely had a moment to grieve. And then, plopped down in the midst of it all, 6 months after my Dad was gone, ……… I got my first melanoma……….Then another……….. then another………then a recurrence scare.  This is where I am now. 3 1/2 years later.  Forever changed.

I was always an eternal optimist, with an idealistic view on life. I tried to see the good in everything, no matter how hard it was. I could find the rainbow in just about anyone or anything. But life in the past 3 years has altered that. It turned me into more of a realist, something I never dreamed I was capable of! I mourn the loss of my internal optimist. But it got broken. Every time I started to feel my optimism breaking forth from its cage, a new trouble would come and beat it into submission. So sadly, I just began assuming things wouldn’t go well, I’d kinda gotten used to it. If it can go wrong, it seems to go wrong round here. Just a grey cloud hanging over our lives. I began to accept the cloud’s presence. But in the strangest way, the acceptance of becoming a realist, also felt enlightening. Like a right of passage into adulthood.

All of these trials have taught me about survival, the ability to find joy, genuine inner joy, from giving of yourself, despite your own circumstances. It showed me who I am deep down inside. That who I have tried to be and thought I was all these years, is really there, not just in my head. For in adversity you show who you truly are. What your strengths, are. I found out, that in the face of any obstacle, I am never going to back down. I will not let that lion win. I will not turn inward, and become selfish. The harder he pushes the more I push back. And I have done so without losing my integrity. That isn’t to say I haven’t had my moments of shame, I have, but on the whole, I have maintained my integrity and been true to myself and my moral compass. That is an inner joy that can never be taken away from me.

I now know the true meaning of these words: “Nothing can separate us from God. Who will separate us from the love of the Christ? Will tribulation or distress or persecution or hunger or nakedness or danger or sword?...... For I am convinced that neither death nor life,  nor angels,  nor governments,  nor things now here, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, will be able to separate us from God’s love….”  Rom 8:35,38,39

The story of Job doesn’t seem as farfetched now. I am feeling a bit Job-like. He suffered as a good man. I hope to at least aspire to do the same. Even if I lose my life, I am not really losing it, as long as I keep my integrity as he did. This system will never break my desire to help others, and be there for my friends. It will never stop me from sharing my knowledge and spiritual understanding with others. By giving, I have found solace. In my darkest days I have found peace in teaching others the beauty and hope for the future. Things will not always be this way. There will come a day when no resident will say I am sick. My studies were truly a gift from God that helped me survive. I thank him for them often. They have helped me become stronger spiritually than I have ever been before. And I can thank adversity for giving me that. I have been broken, but I am blessed. And so I guess I am still an optimist, just a different kind than I used to be. 



Monday, June 10, 2013

Last week, I found a painful lump under the skin at the site of my second melanoma. My dermatologist had me in to remove it within a day and half! Whenever a Doctor wants to do things that quickly, it makes you nervous.  I‘m now waiting for the results to see if the melanoma has recurred.  If it has, that’s bad news. It means the chance that it has spread, or will spread further internally,  is much higher.  So, My battle continues.