Wednesday, September 12, 2012

To Pivot Around One Moment

Well, I made it through, mostly.  Yesterday, I had a cancer spot removed from my forehead.  It wasn't a worrisome type of cancer, but here's my message for the day:  use sunscreen!

I feel like I've been kicked in the head.  I have a row of stitches under my bandage that makes me look like Frankenstein.  It was strange to see, but they took pictures of it as they progressed.  So, I took some pictures too.  I just wanted to send a gross shot or two to Mike.

I've been good for nothing for the past twenty-four hours.  Poor Teddy had so much energy and I just couldn't walk him, so he went off to puppy camp for today.  He'll have a good time, he'll run his energy off with the other dogs, and I'll get some rest. 

Yesterday, I watched 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.'  Yesterday was 9/11.  I had picked up this movie from the holds shelf at the library and it was some kind of strange fate that on a day when I had other things to take care of, namely the removal of an itchy red growth, the Universe dictated that I needed to pause and reflect about the families who are still affected by the attack on the twin towers and the Pentagon.  Yes, their lives pivot around that moment when people in the towers and on the planes knew what had happened, when many of them managed to call their families to say their last goodbyes. 

There are events that have affected my life.  You could, in fact, argue that every moment affects the rest of my life, even casual decisions.  Yet, when I think of how a life can turn in the opposite direction all at once, I always think of when my dad died.  I was thirteen.  He'd been struggling with colon cancer for a year and a half, so it wasn't exactly one moment in time.  That was the hardest change in my life so far and in strange ways, the most productive.  When I first realized that, I was actually angry about it, to think that wonderful things happened to me as a result of my dad's death.  It still galls me.  I became independent and resourceful.  I found that anger had a purpose and I learned how to use it.  I thought about all those things my dad had nagged me about and suddenly took them seriously.  Among other things, my dad wanted me to educate myself, to read, to learn, and to be curious about the world around me.

I used to believe that, when my father died, I became part of a legacy, that I would die at about the same age he died, probably of cancer.  I used to think I needed to follow in his footsteps to the very end.  For a while, especially when I lived past his age, I thought I had to give up that legacy.  He was thirty-seven when he died.  It isn't true that I had to give it up.  I just didn't carry the legacy that I thought I held.  I can't follow in his footsteps.  I'm not like him in too many ways.  I can't talk about my real legacy without a sound-byte effect and I won't cheapen it by trying.  Besides, there's so much of it that I still have to explore.  I wonder if any of the family members of those who died on 9/11 have gotten to this same point?

I'm going to lie down and think about that now.

Thank you for listening, jb

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