The Waiting

Yesterday was the last day of regular classes this semester. I must admit, I’m more sad than I expected to be. I really enjoyed this semester; I loved my classes and my students, and I felt like my work load this semester was just right. As much as I’m looking forward to the break (and the chance to revisit the book), I’m not quite ready to let go of this semester. But, ready or not, finals week is officially here. And the mountain of final grading looms…

We’re still waiting for more specific news about Jesse’s dad, and I am trying not to wish away any time right now. We’d like answers, but they are slow coming. So, we wait. It’s amazing how quickly you can adapt to news you never expected to receive. But I’ve only adapted so far to the waiting period, and that’s okay. A cancer diagnosis makes you think about time differently. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem to make sense to always be thinking about the future, to be wishing current stages of life would hurry up and finish already, because time is much more precious a thing post-diagnosis. Perhaps this has impacted the way I’ve seen the semester, the way I’m not fully ready for it to end.

There are still moments, though, of negativity. At the Christmas party at Jesse’s work, there was a time set aside for people to share “milestones” of the year. Most of the milestones were about babies being born. I just sat back, knowing this time wasn’t for us. We had no babies this year. We made no major changes. We had no breakthroughs. I’m not saying the year was a wash, or that there weren’t moments of brightness (July comes to mind, certainly), but when I think milestones of 2011, of course the first thing that comes to mind is cancer. It’s the dropped bomb. It demands attention. And it’s not something you stand up and talk about at a Christmas party. So, we shared nothing, and I felt the weight of why we were silent.

Even so, I think we are both in some ways enjoying the season more than usual. I think we are appreciating the “little things,” the cheesy movies and the decorating and the hot cocoa, even more than we would in a normal year. In the waiting phase, we can do this, because anything is possible, really. We are in suspension.

But there are worse things than waiting, and so we love what we have, while we still have it.

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