Over the course of a lifetime we all have ups and downs, experience highs and lows and this year has been a microcosm of a lifetime, with moments of sheer delight mixed with those of sadness and concern.
My mother began the year in relatively good health not knowing the year would bring another bout of breast cancer, a second mastectomy and a grueling experience with chemo. My sister and I watched as the vibrant woman my mother was began to fade away as the chemo ravaged her body. The doctors suspended that course and are trying to suppress the cancer with another treatment. She is at peace with her choice to live her last days with as much quality to her life as she can. She was able to attend her granddaughter’s wedding, and party with family and friends to celebrate her 90th birthday in May. We do not know how much time she has, but at least for now, she is back to her old self and celebrating every day she is given.
Just a few weeks ago, my good friend, Debbi, was diagnosed with breast cancer and is beginning her treatment. She is a strong woman and I know she will beat this. I sincerely hope a cure for this disease is found soon.
On the upside we traveled to Atlanta this summer to meet up with our friends, Kathi and Don for a weekend to follow the Gone with the Wind Trail, and see the Braves play baseball at Turner Field. Our friends from Poughkeepsie, Denise and Geoff, have decided to move here finally (we’ve hounded them for years) and we had the weddings of two of our nieces to celebrate, one which took place in June and one which will take place in October.
We took a 12 cruise around the British Isles, and spent 2 days in London before flying home. We had a wonderful time. Bill was able to see the church in Ireland where his great grandparents were married; we walked in the footsteps of the Beatles, his all-time favorite group, and were able to walk through John and Paul’s boyhood homes. When we got home, we had the chance to see my favorite all time group, The Monkees. It was the first time I had ever seen my favorite, Mike Nesmith, in concert. Our boys went with us and it was a rocking evening. Add to all that, the Atlanta Braves are in first place in their division, and there is plenty of reason to celebrate life.
My colonoscopy this year was all clear, and five years from surgery, that is a good sign. My Parkinson’s disease, now, is being handled by exercise and medication. I choose to live moment to moment, and not worry about what is to come – a cure for both my mom and me could be just around the corner.
Given the choice, I think most of us would choose life despite the pitfalls and challenges that may await us in the days and years ahead. So at mid-year I have to say, we are doing pretty well, all things considered. We are here to watch the sun rise every morning, celebrate each precious day, and enjoy what time we have with family and friends. We move forward not knowing what lies before us, but because life beckons us to do so…