A simple, timely reminder
Picking heavy steps
towards the gate.
A soul bereft,
eyes blinking rapidly,
dragging threadbare scraps of sorrow.
A heart ambushed
by an unbidden, unexpected memory.
How can life
and not the next?
A flutter of softened taffeta
a glimpse of black and yellow
the edge of my vision.
dusky velveteen wings
tipped with sunshine yellow.
A gathering of butterflies
flitting leaf to leaf,
amidst rainbow crystals,
called to this
butterfly gathering hibiscus bush.
Brushing the layers
of crushed cotton pink petals,
penetrates the moleskin cloak,
veiled around me
designed by grief
woven by mourning.
A gathering of butterflies.
remnants of gladness.
Remembering my father, who died one year ago today.
A gathering of butterflies
I woke before the alarm this morning. Pre-dawn hints of daylight promised a clearer start to the day, a pause in the continuous monsoon downpours. As I dressed, streaks of pink formed and disappeared. An ordinary late September day.
As the morning wore on, gathering clouds brought the pause to an end as more rains hammered down, the grey sky giving its clear message that rainy season is not ready to retire quite yet. A typical late September day.
By this time in the rainy season, there is a musty heaviness in the air. A constant dampness. The relief of a refreshing shower before sleeping cleanses the clamminess we gather during these days. A unremarkable late September day.
It was such an ordinary late September day four years ago today. So ordinary I can’t remember how the day started, or what time it might have rained. I have no recollection what I ate for supper that evening. What I do remember is the chill of fear in my gut during when showering before sleeping. I can remember exactly how it felt when I felt the lump that should not have been there. I clearly remember exactly where it was. And that it was still there when I prodded after a few moments, praying I might have imagined it, or it might have disappeared.
At that very moment, that particular late September day became suddenly extraordinary. Memorable. For all the wrong reasons.
Four years ago, in the evening of 23 September 2009 I discovered the lump which was to challenge everything I thought was sure. How sweet the air must have felt that unremarkable morning in late September four years ago as I went about my ordinary daily journey. Oblivious to what was ahead of me only a few hours away.
We have no idea what is ahead of us, what unpleasantness might be on our horizon. We must not forget to pause and drink in the little details around us and the precious moment we sometimes miss. Tomorrow may look very different.
Tomorrow is another Landmark Day.
Let’s call it the “Chemoversary” as it will be a year since I was introduced to chemo. Once we met, we were to become regular acquaintances over nearly 6 months, and I still have some delightful reminders. The Annie Lennox look for example, as well as the numbness in my fingers in toes, the lines across my nails and how could I almost forget the port under my skin. In fact, my “porting” anniversary was yesterday. Have I really lived with this device under my skin for over a year now? You would think it was less uncomfortable by now!
However, rather than dwell too much on the Cancery side of things, I am happy to say that I have a plan for the weekend. A non-Cancer plan. (The weather also has plans though it seems not for our part of the country, and hopefully not as intense as predicted).
Weather permitting, and as long as there are no other unexpecteds, we hope to head out of town to Bago this full moon weekend which happily coincides with the Thadingyut Lighting Festival.
With any luck I might even FORGET that it is the Chemoversary!