Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On the Eve of Round Six - Gratitude, Take Three

Work's been busy. One of the logistical challenges of treatment is that every four weeks, my work week is truncated, creating a traffic jam of meetings before and after. I started working on this post on Monday am, but am just posting now.

There are moments when I'm so in love with my life that it feels impossible to contain it. It's not due to any dramatic life event or sudden stroke of good fortune, but just a clarity of perspective that opens up as if two large hands have pried apart a blanket of gray clouds and brilliant sunshine reveals itself to me.

It's what Glennon Melton writes about when she talks about kairos time  -- these moments when time stands still and I'm overwhelmed with gratitude.

Sunday morning, 11:30. Driving over the bridge that spans the Barrington river on my way home from my weekly run and chat. Thinking back on a weekend that included a Friday night date with Noah to see an elementary school production of Jungle Book; a competitive effort by Matthew's U11 soccer squad; a visit with my youngest niece and family; a family dinner out to an old favorite restaurant. One of the better Saturdays in a while with a whole relatively unplanned Sunday spread out before me.

Tuesday evening, kids bedtime. I'm showing Noah a new app on my iPad (iJot, if you were wondering). He's hovering over my shoulder and I can smell the remnants of kids' shampoo in his hair. He draws a three-dimensional shape but is eager to show me what he's done to his room, so he leads me upstairs to show me not just that he's cleaned his room, but that he's hung pieces of his elementary school artwork from the ceiling with painter's tape. What he most wants to show me is the process: how he used his bunk-bed ladder to reach. And what I love, more than the end result, is watching how proud he is of doing it.

I've written before about the cliches and expectations of perspective post-cancer diagnosis. I don't believe it suddenly makes you a nice person; I don't believe it makes you appreciate every minute as you never have before. But I don't remember having these moments of gratitude with such clarity. Maybe the feeling is not new at all; maybe it's just a greater awareness of it. Either way, I'll take it.