My oldest daughter keenly observed recently that the popular kids in grade school didn’t find popularity in middle school. I told her to stay tuned. Because the popular kids in middle school won’t all be popular in high school. The same is true from high school to college and from college on. In fact some of the nerdiest high school kids will go on to have the best families, careers and maintain their youthful look.
Our culture has focused on achieving maximum performance by age 17-18. That is the best looking they will be, the best athletically, the most friends they’ll have and more. Tara and I talk often about training our children to peak at 30….or later. That means at 30 years old, they will be the most fit, best looking and most emotionally stable that they have ever been. They won’t look back to their “glory years” in envy of themselves at that age. This is what we hope for.
Tara is peaking at age 41 in many ways. Her heart understands certain truths for the first time. Her soul is more dependent on God than before. And if it weren’t for cancer, her body would be close to peaking. But her body is certainly not in peak form now. It is worn, weary and tired. Her mind, while consumed with other thoughts, is not as clear as it was 4 months ago.
Today was another rough one. The up and down cycle wears on both of us, although we have grown to expect it and are learning to be okay with it. Daily, I feel less competent at comforting Tara. Words like “you are beautiful” or “I love you” are not her love language. She doesn’t care how she looks, and she is quite confident that I love her completely. She is concerned about physical strength. She wants her body back and the ability to do things without becoming exhausted in only a few minutes of exertion. She wants progress now so she peak again at 45 years old. But we need to start somewhere and it has to begin with feeling good enough to be up and active. Not having her stomach in pain daily.
She’ll make it. She may not know it, but I do. She fights hard and won’t quit.
It has been nearly 2 years since Dale’s first dose of chemotherapy. He told me today after working out he feels closer to his “normal” than he has since his treatment. I know he couldn’t have said that 3-6 months ago. Please do not loose hope, your cells have a lot of rebuilding to do. By sheer will you too will one day feel the strength you once had.
Blessings, peace and patience to you Tara. ________________________________
I have to say that when I read your wonderful thoughts and reflections, I often wonder what I can say/ if I should say “anything”….. So, often, I enjoy your words but stay silent (most unusual for me….Hehehehehe) but this time I feel I want to send a message to Tara. It is about her body and the journey back to some semblance of normalcy. There were MANY times when my body ached/twinged so much I was actually sure the cancer had returned. In fact, I came to realize that my body had been pushed to the brink of death……to help me survive. That “brink” meant that it would take a serious amount of time for my body to recover. One particularly astonishing (for me) challenge was finding I could not walk down stairs without my legs causing me great pain. As you can imagine, I thought the worst. In fact, I came to see that the muscles in my legs had been “poisoned” like the rest of my body and it took quite a while to be able to get out of bed and not feel the pain. Slowly, things returned to normal….but it took time! So, take heart….. The best is yet to come!