You have been unpredictable and you always keep me on my toes.
At times, I even dream of trading you in for a newer, shinier model.
I can develop “life envy” when comparing mine to others around me.
Sometimes I want to scream, “What the heck is the meaning of all this?”
“What is the purpose of living a Life such as the one I’ve been given?!”
But, in the end, I always come back to the same answer…
THIS is My Life and I wouldn’t trade it.
I wouldn’t want it taken away from me.
I wouldn’t want to be robbed of the chance to live it.
And, then, Life, you’ll throw me another curve ball.
Like the one that was lobbed at me yesterday…
“Time for another emergency surgery,” Life reminds me with the insistent alarm that keeps going off in my side. This time, the snooze button does nothing to delay this scheduled appointment with My Life.
And I am reminded, “Tam, just because this is the hand Life has dealt you, doesn’t mean you have to play it alone!”
So I reach out to others.
Some surround me instantly with Love and Support.
Some even put their own Lives’ on hold for a bit, to help me navigate mine.
But I also discover that many, the ones I most need and crave right now, are so used to Tam’s Life, that this is just another regular ol’ occurrence for her.
No need to worry. Don’t be alarmed. We’ll just go on with our Lives and pretend that everything is just fine.
And they’re right, I am used to a different quality of Life than most.I have had to catch these fast balls many previous times.
And in the end, I’ve always come back swinging, “Watcha got next for me Life? Huh? Huh?!”
But, what if this is The End, Life?
What if I’ve already played out my 9 Lives?
Just because I’ve gone through this before, doesn’t mean I, too, don’t battle the arch-nemeses of Life; Fear, Anger, Hurt, Insecurity, and Loneliness.
If anyone else in my circle of family and friends was facing a similar uncertain future, we would all drop everything to be by their sides, to Fight for their Lives.
Yesterday, when I was signing my release for surgery, the surgeon was going over the four long lines of possible (and many, probable) risk factors involved with this procedure. The last two were: “Heart Attack” and “Death.” And you know what he said, Life? “Well, you’ve already had both of those, so you know the risks involved with these complications.” Chuckle. Chuckle.
BOTH of those? Meaning “death,” too.
And, you know what, he’s right.
Because I have not only met my Life, I have also met my Death. Twice.
So, is this supposed to make me feel less scared?
Because it doesn’t.
Yet, when I inform my closest loved ones of this impending, very serious and complicated surgery, happening in just 2 days’ time, they respond, “Okay.”
Okay? Isn’t that what you say when you let someone know you have to reschedule lunch because you’re having a tooth filled?
But, that just highlights how insanely crazy You are, Life. So insane, that insanity begins to appear as normalcy.
And, yet, I still wouldn’t trade you in.
I want to keep living you, Life.
I still have uncharted parts of myself and the world that I want to explore.
I still have so much love, light and energy to give to others.
And I still have a great big capacity to receive that love back.
As I write you this letter, I sit outside in the waxing and waning sun. Watching as it plays hide-n-seek with the clouds. I listen to the one of a kind bird song symphony, never to be repeated at any other time nor in any other place. A unique crescendo of my backyard birds, a concert for one.
I listen to the traffic coming and going on the expressway behind my house. And I dream of where they are headed. I dream of where I next want to go.
I can feel the soothing, loving presence of my husband as he gets ready inside. The one person who has born witness to the all of you, My Life. And never takes for granted the extreme pressure I am under…
I am constantly pushing you up hill. But, I am up for the battle.
I do not planning on meeting your shadow self, Death, again for a long time to come.
But, I also know it is not solely up to me.
So I’ll make a deal with you, Life…
Don’t give up on me and I won’t give up on you.