Mocking the play "Waiting for Godot" in college theatre class, my classmates and I performed a silly parody of waiting for to go during which we were waiting for various things and how we handled it. This week, while waiting for word about a breast biopsy, I thought often about how difficult it is to stay in the moment and just be where we are without projecting thoughts into the future. Babies and pets are good at this, but me, not so much. I profess to have faith in God and try to live as such but when the shit hits the fan and I am tested, apparently I still have more work to do. This week was a test for sure. I found myself wavering back and forth between the worst case scenerio and the absolute best, hesitant to embrace either. As though we can really prepare for the worst, I felt that I needed to be armed and ready for anything. I know better. We can never really prepare and be completely emotionally ready for bad news. When my daughter was alive, I used to go through this process, always hoping for the best but proparing for the worst, or so I thought. At her passing, I think I was still shellshocked, so what's the point?
This week has been a test of strength but also a test of staying power. During the stress of it all, I was able to find joy in the small things...picking my daughter up from the airport after her month away in Turkey, a fun girls' noght out at the movies, wine on the porch with my husband, a long walk on a beautiful new trail with a good friend. I recall times during my first daughter's life when I had surrendered to the reality and seriousness of her illness and began to consciously appreciate small things like a plate of macaroni and cheese that she devoured, a day when her color remained pink and healthy, a sweet moment tucking her in at night... These small beautiful things are sustenance during times of stress and uncertainty. They may be fleeting, but woven together, they can get us through the obstacles of life with a bit more grace.
This morning when I got the call that all was fine, I breathed a sigh of relief, thanked God, and then called my husband. After that, I started reflecting on this past week. Waiting is hard, but aren't we always waiting for something? (I am recalling a Sesame Street song "Something to do While We're Waiting" and thinking maybe that was more for the parents than the kids.) Once again, I learned that it is not WHAT life throws at us that really makes the changes in us, but rather the HOW we handle it that counts. I guess I get about a B for this one.