While I am forever seeking out the next step, considering what is next, somewhat like a neurotic planner (which is actually fairly funny since I really tend to fly by the seat of my pants!), I’ve been trying to stop.  Take what comes.  Enjoy the day.  Worry less about what is to come and focus more on us, our now, our reality, our life.

This has really been driven home lately as I watch, from afar, an acquaintance, deal with a devastating diagnosis of terminal brain cancer.  I “know” both halves of this couple, both went to college with me, I’ve shared classes with both, separately, and together.  (Joys of a small college, everyone knows or knows of, just about everyone!)  They have small children, a life they’ve built, she’s built her own job, universe, professional circle, based on a passion.  And now this.  Her writing about it has been achingly honest, and truthful.  From going to a doctor for migraines, finding a large tumor in her brain via MRI, an operation to remove the tumor, and starting radiation therapy in a bid to gain time, all within one short span of just a few weeks…  To face ones mortality in such an abrupt manner.  Be living one day, dying the next. To take stock of your life, of what you are leaving behind, how people will remember you, and trying to leave something of substance behind for your tiny children.  So, someday, they can have and carry a tangible piece of their mother and her thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams with them, even if she is gone. So they can hear her voice through her writing, at least.  All of this while choosing to fight, choosing to hope, choosing to live.  It seems like such opposing thoughts, opinions and views to reconciliate.  How can one live such opposing lives at once?  Taking the time to feel air fill lungs, to hold children forever and ever, while also taking time to set affairs in order, explain wishes for a funeral, make sure a will is up to date.  I imagine like one does for the rest of life, one foot in front of the other, but the weight of these steps must be heavy…

My heart aches for her, her family, her children…  And it has been an important reminder, to me at least, to live in the now.  To drink up every second of this sometimes messy, sometimes frustrating existence, because, this, the here, the now, it is beautiful, magical, special and may just be the best yet, or ever.



Author: ashleyenfrance

An American living in France. Read about it here.

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