Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shore Musings

View from Our Shore House Deck
This past weekend, I took my 89 year-old grandmother to her beloved second home at the Jersey shore. Our shore house has served as a family gathering place for the past 23-years, and despite two decades of family changes (divorces and marriages, deaths and births, losses and hopes) our little house on the bay has remained a safe haven - a respite from our troubles.

Last summer was filled with hospitals and worry. My grandmother had major heart surgery, and there was a strong likelihood that she would not survive the operation. The fact that she and I were able to sit side-by-side at the Ocean together - finding joint solace in the rhythmic tide - was one of the greatest blessings in my life.

6/9/12: First Time My Grandmother Has Seen the Ocean in 5 years
Whenever I'm at the beach, I make it a point to go for a run with my soccer ball. Soccer was my way out as a kid; it kept me on a road toward college and away from a dark path filled with devastatingly bad choices. This past weekend I was able to push myself to complete a 3-mile sprint work out in the soft sand. It felt good - and then it hurt like crazy. 

"The ball is round. The game lasts 90 minutes. This is fact - everything else is pure theory." - Sepp Herberger 

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, Gary bought me new cleats and a soccer ball as motivation. Everything is different now.

This Thursday is another CT scan and Dr. Nash appointment, but for the first time Gary's not going to be there. I have a new life and new friends who are helping me pick up the pieces, but I'm tired of always being tattered. I just want to be that strong girl again, with a wicked left shot - full of fire and anger. I feel like I'm always chasing the ball, but just can't seem to get it under control.

I know these emotions are "normal" and probably even healthy to an extent. Thursday will come and go. It really doesn't matter what they find or don't find... there's always another underdog match around the corner.

Christopher Reeves said "either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out into the Ocean." I guess I'm trying to build up the courage to wade out into the terrifying awe of truly living again.