By the end of Monday, I didn’t really think I’d ever get a chance to talk with Susan — my real Susan — again. And that, more than any of the other fifty things that have me messed up, left me on the verge of panic.
And then, yesterday afternoon, Susan became herself again. It sounds odd, maybe, but others noted it too: you could tell even before talking to her. Just looking at her eyes was enough.
And so she and I (with the help of my Mom, who is doing a wonderful job of taking care of us) went about having an ordinary day: helping the kids with homework, planning Halloween costumes, going on a walk in what must be the best Fall weather the world has ever had.
Until yesterday, I really had no idea how wonderful an ordinary day is. But as I watched Susan help one of the twins with her reading homework, I thought to myself that I would rather be right there than on a trip to Hawaii or Italy or anywhere.
Then, after the kids went to bed, I talked with Susan about our hospice nurse and how we’re focusing our efforts right now on helping her keep her mental clarity — though I really had no idea we’d have such great success.
It was such a relief to have the conversation with Susan, to have her be a full partner in this, instead of it being a decision I was having to make mostly on my own and imposing on her. Now I can feel right about it.
More important than the talk about our shift in focus — from fighting the cancer in her body to fighting the symptoms coming from the cancer in her brain — I got an opportunity I expect billions and billions of people have wished for: Having thought I had missed my last opportunity to tell Susan all the things I want to, I suddenly had a new opportunity drop into my lap.
A second chance.
And you can bet I did not pass it up.
Susan’s still herself today. She got up with me and helped get the kids ready for school, just like any ordinary day.
But ordinary now feels so amazingly extraordinary.
Now, I don’t consider this a “call to action” blog (though, honestly, could fatcyclist.com now be any further from its original purpose of being a cycling lifestyle / comedy / weight-loss blog?).
But I’m going to make an exception today. I’m going to tell you to put yourself in my shoes.
Think for a moment about the person you care most about. Now think about what you’d wish you could have said if that person were taken away from you. Now think about how glad you would be if you were given a second chance to say those things.
And then go say them.