Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Problem With Plans

by Michael

** Tomorrow (Jan 20), Kate has her final "big" dose of chemotherapy. Next Friday (Jan 27), Kate has her final final (small) dose of chemotherapy.

The problem with plans, Owen said a couple of years ago, is that they change.

Well, yes. They do, don't they?

And dealing with change is a challenge for Owen, as it is for all of us, more or less.

So I'd like to dedicate this post to Heiko, who passed away (I choose to be euphemistic) a number of years ago, from cancer in his brain, at the age of four.

His parents took him to the hospital thinking it was something else, but it was the unimaginable. And the unimaginable happened, later.

Plans change.

We are by no means ready to let go of Kate. We are keeping her and enjoying her and laughing and traveling and biting richly into every sandwich.

I was at PMH today, meeting with my psychiatrist, and it was a rich conversation. We are at a rich point in life. One must acknowledge such things. Such opportunities don't come along every day.

I have said to people recently that cancer has made our lives generally better, while also making them specifically worse. We know the value of every moment. When we laugh, we mean it. When we see each other in need, we attend to it. We know no superficialities.

We would like others to know such purpose of meaning also. Hopefully, we don't mean this selfishly, or narcissistically. We are going through something profound; you don't need to share the depths of this experience; but I do think we would like you to know the depth of life's meaning.

It is about sharing and caring and being in the moment, whatever that moment is.

This past week, Kate and I started an 8-week mindful meditation workshop. www.mindfulnessmeditationtoronto.com. And so I found myself in a room with a dozen women, most of whom were there for "stress relief," except for Kate, who told the group bluntly that she had cancer, and then there was silence.

I just said I was there because I was married to "her," pointing.

Ha, ha.

We laughed and a few others did, too. What else is life for?

Breathe, the instructor said. And we did.

In, out, in, out, in, out. Repeat.

4 comments:

Sarah Heaton said...

Fabulous, you two are lovely, lovely human beings. I have been blessed to have met Katie (then) and to be her friend. I wish that I had the opportunity to meet you Michael and those 2 beautiful children you both share your lives with. I am taking to heart your message, it is so important. You are so right, plans change.

Thank you. <3 Sarah H.

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael,

I am touched you would be thinking of Heiko at this time. Though he may be gone physically he is still very much alive in the hearts of all who loved him and ever it will be so. I am so appreciative that you remember him too.

I too meditate. It connects me to that which has no name but to which we all belong - a huge, subtle, powerful, invisible network and web of love. There are days when I can't get "there", when my mind is too hoppy (like frogs in a pond), but there are moments when I can slip away from my self (a kind of dying?) into the vast ocean of silence, stillness, aliveness and I just know all will be well. It is groundless, it is infinite, it is the place where all become one.

Much love and solidarity,
Gabrielle

Anonymous said...

Thank you Michael for sharing. We are blessed that you and Kate are both writers - with the talent and generosity to share so eloquently and openly. What an experience it is to know you both! Love Val

Michael Bryson said...

Gabrielle -
I think Heiko is one of our guides. I really do. I only met him that one time, but I can still see him beating on that drum and running circles around the house.