Sunday, August 10, 2008

Life (līf) (n.): the general or universal condition of human existence

I’ve lived a fairly charmed life. I had a happy childhood surrounded by friends and family and dogs. My mother has always protected us from the world while still allowing and encouraging us to us to experience it. My father has always been a child at heart, entertaining us, supporting us in all our endeavors with a lighthearted mirth that goes unmatched in my experience and always supplying us with the material and emotional needs we require. My brother Spencer is funny and sweet much like my father, and somewhat shy in a mildly socially awkward and endearing way. I am still ,to this day, best friends with my little brother despite the four year gap between us. For the most part, we have somehow managed to escape the sibling rivalry that people tend to struggle with throughout life and enjoy each other’s company immensely. Needless to say, my family is extremely close and I can only hope that if Guy and I ever have or adopt children that we will be so tightly knit. My love for my family, extended included, is surpassed by no one and no thing and only met by the love I feel for Guy, my future husband and Carly, my very best friend. My whole life I had talked about going far away to college, to Maine, to New York, to study abroad but when the time came to make such decisions I couldn’t bear to be more than three hours away from Spencer or anyone else I love for that matter but especially Spencer. Luckily for me Carly and Guy followed me to San Diego. Hopefully in a couple of years, Spencer will follow suit. For now, my family is a mere three hours away. They are my sentimental Achilles heel, my weakness. I am twenty-one years old and I still cry every time I have to part with my family, as embarrassing as it is to admit. Hot tears manage to escape and splash down the planes of my face, fast and hard, no matter how brave I try to be, no matter how hard I try to keep them contained in the too-small corners of my eyes. I realize there have been times when I have butted heads with my parents, mostly my mother, but I think that’s something I inherited from her, a deeply ingrained passionate nature and an unyielding belief in what I feel is right. My fight has always been stronger than my flight, although in recent years I have learned to choose my battles. Beyond those unmemorable skirmishes our family has always managed to get along fairly well.

Please note that I said charmed and not perfect. We’ve had our share hardships and bad luck. The death of friends and family. Family members who enjoys alcohol more than is healthy. Too many miles between California and the Midwest where the rest of our family resides. A brother who suffered with childhood leukemia for many years and now is on the cusp of learning what the near future of his health will be. Wednesday as I was coming home from a whirlwind road trip to Colorado, I received an unexpected blow. After a few years of good reports and healthy normal blood results, Spencer’s blood counts came back abnormally low. Immediately we were all sent into a deep dark hole of confusion, of unknowing. More tests on Thursday which came back inconclusive but thus far I am considering that a blessing. No cancer cells….yet or at all? Which is it? Guy and I went home to my parent’s house after work on Friday to be with my family and enjoy the comfort that only such close quarters can supply. And now as I sit in the car driving back to San Diego after a too short weekend I am waiting, hoping, praying for a good news but I can’t help but wonder is was this the last normal weekend our family will spend together in the following weeks, months? We went to see Iron Man at the discount theater, all four of us plus Guy and his little brother Luke. We grilled ribs and hamburgers while basking in the beauty of a desert sunset. We all sat around the dinner table enjoying each other’s company, wholeheartedly. Thank God for this weekend. Now, once again, for what feels like the millionth time, I can do nothing but sit back and wait for something to happen. I am both helpless and fearful. What do I do? The answer to that of course is nothing, I can do nothing.. Nothing to help, nothing to soothe, nothing to fix or prevent. Nothing but sit anxiously awaiting something. What do I want to hear? “ Just a false alarm guys, just kidding. We had you going for a while didn’t we? Just a painfully cruel, heart-wrenching joke. You may now return to your regularly scheduled, cancer-free life.” Or maybe just something about a clean bill of health. The truth of the matter is I'm here through thick or thin and Spence knows that but I'd rather the biggest of his worries be the dread of returning to school after a short summer than what he is worried about now.


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