Saturday, December 24, 2011

Seasons of Love

Leaving Providence St. Joseph,
December 23, 2010

As I sit here on this December 23, I reflect on the past year. These last few weeks have been filled with touchstones at the very least— The MRI showing the sudden collapse and near disappearance of the residual brain tumor came nearly a year to the day from when I was diagnosed with a two-inch brain tumor.  I let December 15 slip away like a bad dream and aside from wishing a co-worker a happy birthday, the day passed without incident.  The first days I was in the ICU, despite my doped-up state, I knew it was important to stay calm and not move much so I would affect my ventriculostomy, causing my CSF to drain too much. And while I was there, in the early days, I kept singing to myself lines from a DC Talk song, “I want to be in the light as you are in the light.  I want to shine like the stars in the Heavens… all I want is to be in the light.” And, staying in the light is something I crave and helps me get through some of the more difficult times. The days from December 15, 2011 quickly passed by me as I was spending time with family, skipping from holiday party to holiday party and traveling home to see the rest of my family and meet my adorable niece.

No snow this Christmas,  nonetheless
I get to run by this converted
milking  barn on training runs.
Today felt like it called for a little more reflection. I woke up in the room I grew up in, rolled over and turned off my alarm. I looked at the calendar and mused, “hey, one year ago today, I woke up in a hospital and was discharged in the afternoon.” Other than having passing thoughts about where I was last year, the day was pretty much like any other day before Christmas. Then, the family piled into the cars to go on our training runs.  I had intended to do somewhere between 2 and 3. When I got a four-corner intersection, I chose the road with the least amount of hills and started down it. I just figured I’d keep going ‘till I hit about 1.5 miles. I then figured I’d run to the next road. It wasn’t fast, and ultimately, I only logged 3.6 miles when I got back to the cars, but it was a very exhilarating 3.6 miles. Between getting a cold just after Thanksgiving and then these holidays, getting any mileage in always feels like a miracle. As much as it pains me, I’ve re-jiggered my schedule again and I am settling into Hal Higdon’s NOVICE program. I’ve run one half-marathon doing something like this, and I know I can do another one. It feels like I took a giant slide backwards after Thanksgiving, I’m giving myself the grace that I would urge my friends to give themselves.  

So, it’s been a year since I was discharged.  I am still not used to people calling me a miracle or learning about strangers praying for me or meeting someone new and having my story touch them, causing tears to well up in their eyes. It has been quite the year. Reflecting on what the year has meant and everything that has unfolded.  I couldn’t put it better than Jonathan Larson who wrote the Broadway musical, RENT and composed “Seasons of Love.” 

Thank you all for being part of my seasons of love.

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