we have to insist on shaping our future, in our minds and seeing all the very real and best possibilities, without resort to metaphysics. And knowing perfectly well and accepting age. But still seeing the future, for what it could be. Not for what we fear it will not be. And we have to help each other do that. Day in and day out. All of us.
What it is that we can come closer to that makes life stronger, despite the outward signs that it becomes frailer and closer to an ending? What is it that makes life worth living for, even more? I have an ex-friend who has now more or less walled himself in. He sits in his apartment all day long. He is a pensioner. He has the occasional cancer-scare, too. He has some reasons, yes, but overall it has, I will argue, been his own choice to give up and just wall himself in and not reach out for any other life qualities than safety. Which he can never completely have? How safe is it sitting and watching TV and waiting not to get cancer? Maybe he won't get it, but in terms of having a good life experience I think my mother is better at finding that path that makes her life feel stronger, despite all the shadows that chase it.
We can only wait and see, but the important thing to me is that even though I feel personally (and I would never argue this to my mother) that it had been best to let it go without chemo, since this is her choice (as it should be) there may be an important gain here. There may be a blessing in disguise here. Something that we can call out, if we want to, and if she doesn't get to ill and too obsessed with being ill from chemo and what to do for daily relief. And I'm putting a big parenthesis around the fact that we may - may - have bought her x number of more years to live. We will never know that. But if cancer ever resurfaces she will be more ready, I believe. She will also, importantly, know she has done what she could. The opposite side of that coin is to feel cursed, of course. But avoiding a guilt trip if your life is threatened again, that is more important now. As is finding a place for this ghost in our souls. I believe the path my mother has chosen now can be useful to find that place. It may lead to even more and more blessed places I cannot yet imagine. But first we have to deal with the everyday illness and insecurity and Christmas and all the practicalities that arise from poisoning your cells in order to achieve a result worth the pain. And so we will.
I have to accept it's going to be back and forth emotionally from now on and I have to show that to others and remind them of that as well - especially my mother. Both experiences are okay and natural, but we have to - have to - continue to move between them. Never stop. Especially not in the valley.