HUMAN BINDWEED

Part of the THIS IS THE MOMENT series.

July 21st, 2019

The office

This is the first post that I produce from the office in our house.

It took a full year of living here before I was able to muster the energy (mostly psychological I think) to clear the space—which had become the dumping ground for all of those I’m-still-not-sure-where-to-put-that-yet-so-let’s-stick-it-in-the-office objects—and make it a working, appealing place to write and spend hours of time (I’m so sorry Christian).

Well, it’s done.

Just in time. Ha! Tomorrow is my birthday. July 22nd. I’ll be 61 years old.

A decade ago, you would have mentioned that tomorrow I’d be 51, and I would have been as non-plussed as if you had told me that I would still have a nose or toes the next morning.

But this year, I’m finding the experience of my birthday peculiar. There’s the very obvious fact of my still being alive. Which is everything.

And maybe that’s it. Jeremy and Anne and the kids had us (a big chunk of the family) over for a birthday party for me last Saturday, the 13th, because this weekend, they knew they would be celebrating Anne’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. FIFTIETH!

Later today, we’re headed to my mum’s for a second birthday supper (she was at last week’s too), minus Jeremy’s gang. Finally, tomorrow after driving to see my grandchildren at their swimming lessons (yippee!), Simon and I will have some lunch and then go see a movie (Spiderman), because, well, it will be the actual day of my birthday, so more has to be done!

I was so happy last week at Jeremy’s, but also trying to find my bearings. And that same discomfort is making itself felt in anticipation of this afternoon’s program. I love all of the people who have sent me their wishes, who have invited me to their home, who have told me through cards and constant thoughts and actions that I am loved. Tomorrow, I anticipate lots of Facebook messages…

And yet, what I wish is that it all be wrapped up in one dense and compressed two-minute bundle of time. And be over with.

Turning 61 isn’t a shock to me—no matter the progress of my disease (there is NO progress at this time, as a matter of fact, and I can only be grateful every day and hope that this continues to be true for a very long while)—I did figure that I would be here this year. Everything ahead…that’s a different story. It’s all fiction, till it isn’t. That’s my narrative now, and maybe it should always have been so.

Bindweed

But this year, fêting July 22nd  feels excessive. Enough about me! It feels like for the past twelve months, from the moment of my diagnosis, too much of every day has been about me. I’m human bindweed; I have invaded the lives of everyone I love, messing up their schedules, clogging their plans and adding a heaviness to their lives…

I have been made invasive by this incursive disease called cancer. It isn’t my intention to leach into other people’s lives, but it is my effect. And the people I love, they’ve been so…not just tolerant, but gracious! Kind. Reliable beyond the call of duty. Joyful. Helpful. Indefatigable. Good natured. Sensitive. Compassionate. Perceptive. Irreplaceable. Constant.

Maple sapling

The best thing I could have done this July was give them all a break! But,  observing our garden, Simon and I are learning all about the persistence of weeds, and how they cling to other plants and to the soil—in order to live.

I would prefer to be one of the maple saplings sprouting up in the part of our property that we’ve decided to leave fallow, and that Simon and I are rooting for, imagining a future, maybe a decade or two away, when the tiny saplings will have become lush and beautiful trees that blush every fall.

The most I can do, now, is hope to watch the saplings grow, unencumbered by weeds.

Fallow land

2 thoughts on “HUMAN BINDWEED

  1. To be honest, I know all about bindweed and I can report that I’m not a fan. In the least. Yes, it clogs, invades, and messes with one’s schedule. Happily, I can also report that you don’t resemble bindweed in any way shape or form. Haha I think you were having an Opposite Day, Michelle, à la Calvin & Hobbes. If I’m clogged when I visit you, I’m unclogged when I leave. My new schedule is bedecked with beautiful bright adornments that I look forward to. Heaviness? No, more like a lightness of being, from time spent in your company. I don’t see it as an invasion. Not one bit. Things became a bit more real, is all. And real is now. And real is love.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.