My Habit

“It’s my habit to write on a Sunday.”

Those were the words I said to my 13 year-old grandson who is visiting this week. At 13 he’s mostly into his computer game and sleeping late but he still consented to spend a week with his, “dear grand parents.” My choosing to write rather than being with him and gran in the living room doesn’t seem to bother him. Perhaps it will, years from now, when he is in therapy dealing with abandonment issues.

I find the words I spoke to be a bit odd. When did it become my habit? And why? This blog started over a year ago as a little experiment of mind to see if I could write consistently and maintain a blog. At first that didn’t work so well and my posts weren’t on any schedule. Then it happened, a call from my doctor and a diagnosis I didn’t want.

At first I went silent and turned inward to reflect, pray and deal with the emotional fire storm that was lit in my soul. Then, as a way to express what was going on in my head and heart, I started writing. Then I posted that here. Then I wrote more and more until I found I had written past my treatment and found that I just needed to keep doing.

You could go look up the history of my posts to see when it happened but it has happened. Somewhere in the last few months this Sunday activity has become part of my life. When I don’t do it I find something missing that week.

Perhaps it is one of the good things that has come out of my brush with cancer. It’s strange to say that anything good has come out this. In general this whole cancer thing has been at best a trial and at its worst nearly unbearable. While the disease has helped focus my mind and attention better on those things that are important to me, it has stolen other things from me.

A fellow blogger has written about such a feeling here:YAPCaB Burglary

YAPCaB compares the cancer experience to a burglary of his home – a very poignant analogy and it got me thinking. In fact I’ve been thinking about this a lot and have had his post open in my browser window since he posted it. I sat in church the morning after reading it and instead of listening to the pastor’s sermon I wrote an outline of a post I felt moved to write. Looking back on the outline I’ve decided that the outline speaks for itself so I present it here without attempting to flesh it out with flowery prose:
1. The Thief
a. Loss of trust
b. Loss of innocence
c. Loss of time
d. Loss of hope
2. Moving from the robbery
a. The desire to protect oneself
b. The desire for reassurance
c. The desire for justice
d. The desire to turn back the clock
3. Acceptance
a. Easier said than done
b. Understanding things as they are
c. Use the time we have to the fullest
d. Being mindful of the joy around us.
4. It’s not as easy as it sounds
a. Pain
b. Disappointment
c. Unfulfilled dreams

If I were to cite anyone thing as being the hardest part of the cancer to deal with is the last item – unfulfilled dreams. In my youth, I endlessly watched “The Muppet Movie.” Kermit’s mission to follow his dream speaks to my soul and all through my life I’d had the desire to follow my dreams. Sadly I’ve not done the best job at that, but still I’ve accomplished some of them. Now as I age and face health problems it is clear that some of my dreams will never be.

How can I let them go? How could I have let that thief into my body?

Today I don’t have answers – just questions and I am done with the first draft of this post. Now it is my habit to ask my dear wife to proof-read and comment. Then just before bed I’ll publish this, as is my habit.

Till next week.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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1 Response to My Habit

  1. YAPCaB says:

    I like your outline (and thanks for the nod!). For me I think I’d probably reword Moving from the Robbery to Coping with the Continuing Robbery. I feel like each day more of my life is stolen and as time passes the size of the theft increases. At various points the loss gets large enough that yet another door is closed, i.e. you’re put on Chemo and can’t consider multi-week traveling anymore. This plays to your Unfulfilled Dreams.


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