When my little sister was in elementary school she told me there were two different kinds of trees--deciduous and coniferous. I was fascinated that here she was, twelve years younger than me, and she was telling me something I didn't know. In case you are unfamiliar with these terms, a conifer is an evergreen; it's a type of tree that grows year round and keeps it's needles. A deciduous tree, on the other hand,is a tree that blooms in the Spring, flowers in the summer, loses it's leaves in the fall and goes dormant in the winter. One of the camps I ran had a stand of conifers. The branches were high upon the trunk and pine needles lay all about the ground. It was cool inside this part of the forest. It was a great place to bring kids.
This memory was jogged one night a while back, in the support group I attend at CEW. One of our members presented a writing workshop. The first exercise was easy--write about a memory or experience of a tree. “Lost and Found” was the topic for the second exercise.
We were supposed to write about what we’ve lost and what we’ve found because of our illnesses. This was much more difficult. If the truth were known, I didn’t like having cancer. No doubt, this is something I share with others, but that is of little comfort to me. Usually, when I've gone through a crisis or a life altering experience I come out of it a better person or at least I have a renewed insight and caring about others. I can't say this is true of me with this experience.
It feels like I lost a year of my life. I was so busy being strong; and I was so busy resting so my body would stay strong. Having cancer did give me a purpose for a year--healing, staying strong; but, it was hard. I slept so much and I watched much t.v. and dvd's--too much! And, I worked. Remember that--I worked almost everyday. But, I had help. And support.
What I did find over and over again was the kindness of others; that was overwhelming to me, especially given my trust no one and take no prisoners point of view. At one point I thought my life was coming to an end because there were so many people supporting me in so many ways. Was this my karma at the end of my life?
Allot has happened over the course of this year and a half. After expending so much effort at healing and recovery and being so focused on cancer, and then afterwards, trying to pack everything into everyday that I possibly could, I've crashed.... as I was saying to my good friend the other day, I've been kind of lonely this winter. From August of 2007 until about September of 2008, I was almost always in the company of someone. And now I am walking in the garden of my soul alone. And, I am still a little tired from my illness; I haven't totally recovered yet. Now,I also have sisters and brothers in a secret club. But, you know, it's all good. It really is.