Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It Only Takes A Moment

Over the years, Christmas Eve always felt different than other nights. I never knew what it was, but there was a silence and serenity I don't often feel.

In the past several months I read something that empaths can "feel" days. There is a feeling to Sunday nights. There is a feeling for Monday mornings. There is a feeling of "going back to school." I just thought everyone felt it. And perhaps they do, but there is something about identifying it as something that seems to make a difference.

Today is September 11. It has a feeling.

I have been struggling not only today, but for the last few days leading up to today. There is a heaviness. A grief. A sadness. A feeling of great loss. The weight is so heavy, my body really is having a hard time functioning. My mind is having a hard time thinking.

On September 11, 2001, everyone has a story about where and how and when they heard about what was happening. I suspect it is very much the same as anyone who was old enough to remember December 7, 1941. I don't remember seeing all of the stories in previous years, but there are countless ones today on Facebook. I would almost dare say more today than I have cumulatively seen over the years.

I can't help but wonder why.

It doesn't really matter, though. The impact of that day was a greater personal grief for many than most will ever see in their lifetime. An uncle of mine is retired from the NYFD. He personally knew many of the firefighters who perished that day, one of which was a father and son. The father kept saying he was going to retire, but kept pushing it off. He was within a few months of the last date he had set.

My uncle told me that he used to work at the fire house across the street from the Towers while they were being built. It was like they were a part of the "family." Of course the human loss was immeasurable, if even a number of those dead could be counted. However, the loss of what came along with it was also great.

I was reading today that Japan had offered to give up before the US bombed them. I don't know if that was true or not, but it was suggested that perhaps we bombed them in retaliation for Pearl Harbor. So much of what has been written and told about the events of that day will be re-shared as "history" in years to come. What will the history books say about this incredible time in US History?  What will it say about an event that happened here, but affected people the world over? People from many countries died that day. In some respects, a piece of all of us did, too.

I had an odd thought today that if I had died back then, I would never have had to deal with cancer. I know it's strange. But it did occur to me. There is so much that happens in the world from minute to minute and year to year that those who die miss. Sometimes I wonder what I will miss when my time comes.

I can remember fairly clearly that day, but I can't remember last September 11. I went back to see if I had blogged, but I was dealing with healing from a newly placed port, and coping with chemotherapy. I imagine I probably just slept through the day. Maybe that is why I didn't see people's experiences. I have a tickle in the back of my mind that says that maybe I didn't want to know. I was dealing with a lot as it was.

I wish I could just go to sleep right now. I feel so out of it, but there are a few things I need to get done, and I have been putting them off for quite a while. I am writing as a way to perhaps purge so that I can try to focus on what needs to be handled. I am barely present as I write.

So many people think that because I write I must be just fine. Someone told me that writing is a left-brained activity, which is the kind of activity that is the most difficult for me these days (although thankfully it is better than when I was actively being treated). The thing is, though, that often when I write, I don't even remember what I write. It is almost like someone else wrote it. The words often just come "through" me. I do not actively sit and think about what I want to say. I rarely ever re-read or edit what I wrote. Reading takes a lot of effort, more than I often have the ability to offer it. I used to read a lot, now it is nearly impossible to do at times, and is exhausting as it takes additional effort to stay present and absorb the words.

I share this as a way to try to explain something that most will never have to personally experience or understand. I sometimes wonder how many people who deal with those like me who are having issues have ever had the issues I face. I wonder because so much is not set up to deal with someone who is struggling with getting things done. Things are set up by functional people for functional people. But it is usually the non-functional people who need the help.

Apparently I am all over the place at the moment. I had had thoughts in the last several days that it might be good to spend some time putting on a wig and make up and trying to make myself feel better, in the same way that I used to. I haven't had the energy to do it. I have run out with all that has been going on I don't have the energy to exert to do it. It was easier to do when I had nothing else/very little else to concern myself with.

I had this feeling of anxiety I also feel. It could just be that I am anxious about an upcoming scan, but I am fairly certain it is more than that. My eyes could so easily close right now, and as a matter of fact they just did before I started to type this sentence.

I feel like such a broken record these days.

I will leave you with one last thought. If you know anyone who is dealing with a diagnosis of cancer, consider reaching out to them. They may appreciate knowing that you are thinking about and care about them. They also may be too tired and overwhelmed to be able to do much more than what they need to. They might appreciate the distraction, and hearing from you.

It may be easy to be caught up in your own life, and it may not be something you want to deal with, or know how to deal with, but time presses forward, and there may come a time the opportunity will no longer be available to reach out.  It only takes a moment for life as we know it to become an unwelcome stranger.
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