Saturday, December 31, 2011

The New Year's Resolution.....

Crazed kayak boy 
At Watercress Pond 

Sunny Kate 

Sunny Mike 
Cards on the deck of the Palatial Cottage
Uh oh, not a Habs Fan!!!
It is December 31st 2011. I am very happy to see this year end, and feel reflective of its ups and downs. It began inauspiciously in chemo sessions, and ended pretty much same. I will have undergone approximately 9 months of chemotherapy by the time the last needle goes in, in addition to massive life and body altering surgery, day surgery twice for various ports and lines, and 5 weeks of daily radiation. Forget how many CT MRIs and other pokey tests where they make you fast and drink barium.

More importantly than these, we also spent 3 lovely, imperfectly fun family and friend filled glorious weeks at a cottage, two weekends away at Watercress Pond cottage with my lovely Michael; We also tripped to Ottawa, and reconnected with our good friends. And in between all that I watched the children grow daily, visited with friends, wrote and received letters, wrote a book, went on and off the hooch as stomach could take it, gardened (somewhat lighter than I ever have before), read what feels like a thousand books.....sometimes I cooked, but mostly, I was cooked for.

Here are the things that stand out for me in the midst of all this:

First, the kindness of others - people dropping off lovingly prepared meals- not just food - but meals - separated into packages and absolutely child friendly, a cleaning lady paid for (Venice,  a lovely kind woman, who gives me a hug every time she sees me, unconcerned about the state I may be in, even in bed, she drops right by and chats first); friends taking the kids for sleepovers, driving to birthday parties, well....the list could go on. Thank you for all your kindnesses. Namaste.

This year I have been surrounded by people who love me. I can honestly say I have no idea where this army of loving souls came from, other than at some point, our paths crossed, words were exchanged, in many cases bonds were instantly formed, and lasted. I feel so very lucky about this. And it makes me happy to know that my children will know these people too, and feel the love.

On that note, Michael and I have been contemplating a new year's resolution (yes, only one) to host weekly or bi-weekly drop ins / open houses for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon so we can connect, even if it is quickly and somewhat esoterically. I hope sometimes we will be flooded, and I suspect sometimes we will get one soul lost wandering over from Woodbine and the TTC. Nothing fancy, and it will be catch as catch can, take us as you find us, and have a cuppa tea, glass of wine, if we remember to buy it, and chat. Some times we will cancel. Sometimes we will be over the moon. Sometimes groveling. But we think this will be a nice way to connect.  If you are in town for something, drop by. Our door is always open. Borrow a book! More details on this to come.

One thing I will say about Torontonians, they are not droppers-in. It is most definitely a culture of "book me three weeks from now, and for 2 hours, because then we've got...etc etc." I have even been told that I can't be "fit in" for a visit  till the next month. I was a bit astonished, but then if you're living that life - the one that is in a perpetual state of overdrive - you would not find it so strange perhaps. My world is more circumscribed, but of course, happily, most other people's aren't.

I love the drop in. 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes of catch up time, where our friends can stop, breath, share, listen, or talk. My life is more than this cancer, and I want to be there for my friends too. I want to hear about your lives, otherwise I feel left out. Mundane details are the new black, my dears.

So here is our/ my/ the new year's resolution: see my people.

Happy New Year, with love, Kate



CMcAuley said...

Dearest Kate Some of the most powerful and reflective writing I have read this year has been on this blog. I wish you all the best for a very happy and healthy new year. I'm Gonna do a drop in.
Hugs and kisses.

Kate H said...

You (and your family) are an inspiration to me and mine. When I don't take the time to appreciate the smaller things in life, a read of your blog is a reminder to focus on the important things - friends, family, and a cuppa tea. Much love and looking forward to enjoying a cup soon, Kate H