We divide our lives into the “before and afters” of major events. These singularities are when things change radically; occurrences that shake up our world and cause us to undergo a metamorphosis as a person. There were several in my life: When, at 14, my parents retired and moved from the only home I knew on a lake in rural Massachussetts to a condo in Florida. Certainly, when I got married, a little over 20 years ago. Graduating AOCS and receiving a commission in the Navy. There were a few others…then there was cancer.
The first two months of diagnosis weren’t a radical change to my life – it wasn’t until week 4 of the initial 6-week chemo regimen that I even felt any side effects. I kept working, and kept up with my running and surfing.
I think the biggest “before and after” point was 5 years ago, when I had my colon resected. The surgery itself went smoothly for the most part (read here for my sister’s posts on my surgery). The following year would be one where I was challenged throughout, and came out a changed person.
I’ve made changes that I never would have considered before. I’ve done things that I had no desire to do before, accomplishments of a personal nature that only take on meaning in the context of surviving. More than anything, I’ve discovered a desire to enjoy every aspect of every day; to find the beauty in the mundane; to soar with the eagles even when sitting in the fourth meeting of the morning. Certainly in these five years the volume has been turned down – but it has remained fixed at a level that is far above where it was before.
With that – I’ve documented as much as possible on video and in pictures. I hope and pray that someday, far in the future, when I’m gone, my kids and grandkids will watch, read, and know these things about me.
With less and less blogging (thanks for nothing, facebook) I’ve quite the video backlog. Enjoy.