December 9, 2014

silver linings

At this time of year, I always put together a photo book of our favourite moments of the year. I'm not going to lie to you, this has been the hardest year I've known. As many of you know, about a month into the year, I held my mom's hand in her doctor's office only to have our hearts obliterated when he told her she only had a few months to live, that she had a very rare form of cancer: mesothelioma.
It sat like a pit in our stomachs throughout our days and a heaviness in our hearts. It was a tangible pain. She is the center, the heart of our family. I think it's safe to say I cried pretty much each day this year - mostly in the car on my commute home, where I could let out a day's worth of keeping it in.
But looking back on the photos, while compiling them for this year's re-cap book, this was also an extraordinary year. We spent so much quality time together as a family - every few days we were joined at the dinner table. Cancer taught us to have important conversations, to focus on what's most important in life and to realize how fragile this life of ours is.
Cancer showed us what support looks like. Support looks like my parent's friends who showed up with meal after meal, who cleaned their home time and time again, who threw wonderful parties, who called endlessly checking in. And the support extended to my extraordinary friends, who dropped off meals or gifts for my mom, even though they have never met her. They blew me away with their thoughtfulness.
Support looks like a wall in mom's home, full of beautiful drawings from her grandbabies, who are too young to know what is happening, but just want nana to feel better.
Now don't go thinking I'm pro cancer, because I'm most definitely not. I was just addressing the silver linings from this year. My mantra is actually fuck cancer. Fuck it for seeping into this family and for slowly taking away our favourite person. Fuck it for still existing in all of its multitudes in spite of millions of millions of dollars put into research. Fuck cancer for having no conscience about who it inflicts.
But I'm looking forward to giving my mom this photo book, to show her that in spite of it all, we still shared so many extraordinary days together. Seize the day people. It's not just a catch phrase, there is so much weight behind it. xoxo

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I so get what you're saying. Fuck cancer is also my mantra since my husband was stricken with the same cancer your Mom has. I hate that every tv show I watch, someone has cancer. I hate that they are no closer to a cure than they were 50 years ago. I hate that every day there is a walk, run, hop, or dance for cancer. I just hate it. I am glad though that your Mom is still with you and that she and you have such incredible friends. My friends are distant as they grieve thinking that since there's nothing they can do that will help, they should give us our privacy. And I am too worn out to ask for what I need. In fact, most days I don't know what I need. Anyway, good for you for doing a photo book. I am a photographer also and this last year has been tough on my creativity too. Keep having those conversations and snapping those shots. You will be glad you did in the years to come. We are 5 years post diagnosis and entering the home stretch. This is a very difficult journey. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Sorry, seems like I needed to vent a little! Take care...