Sunday, January 29, 2012

Imperfect beauty

view from the hospital window

There are days in your life that really stand out. Beautiful days that you hold onto tight and look back on during the more difficult times. 

Graduations, nights out with friends, weddings, births, special birthdays, days spent at the beach watching your babies play in the sun...

Then there are the days that seem anything but beautiful. The ones which on paper you'd never think would be a day to remember, much less hold onto tight to, think back on with a smile and a longing to re-live. But somehow they become just that.

Today was one of those days for me.

I spent the entire day sitting in the hospital next to my Dad, who is recovering from pneumonia... most likely brought on due to his lack of an effective immune system... due to his last bone marrow transplant... due to his cancer. 

Outside his window big, fat beautiful snowflakes fell to the ground.

I kept thinking about how just about a year ago, I was the one in the hospital and he was the the one keeping me company. Life can change on a dime, that's for sure. 

My Dad has had a tough recovery since his transplant in November. Very tough. Thanks pneumonia. 

But he's slowly coming back. He's got the right drugs now and today it seemed that he was literally getting stronger, brighter, and more alive with each passing hour. 

We talked sometimes, said nothing at other times, napped and watched the Republican debate, analyzing each one of the candidates (discussing politics is one of our most favorite things to do!)

He is a great listener. And wise. 

I had some questions that have been swimming around in my head for a while now.


"Do you think there's something you are supposed to learn from all this or do you think it's just random that you got this cancer?"

"Do you really believe that there's a reason for all this or is life just a happenstance crap shoot after all?" 

I know, both are essentially the same question.

You see, it always comes back to this....


and more importantly "Why YOU?"

I'm sure this is true of many people who have gone through serious illness or other life challenges but I can only speak of my experience, having a loved one with cancer.

They know things. Secrets.

And if you're willing to ask the questions and willing to really listen, they'll tell you what they've learned.

My dad has cancer. That's not going to ever change.

 He's pretty darn sick right now and when he recovers from this pneumonia, he can look forward to re-starting a chemo regimen that will last for years. 

Yup, on paper this day could be categorized as a real downer, and the larger reality could be also be seen as a bit of a downer. 

But it doesn't feel like that right now. 

Not at all. 

Driving home, the only thing I can think about is how grateful I am for this day with my dad. How blessed we are as a family to have each other and these times together.

Today will be remembered as one of my most favorite days. A day that when I look back on it, I will smile and be grateful for it's imperfect beauty.

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