Sometimes I’m stupid, and I forget

I have to admit to stupidity.

Sometimes I get caught up in busyness.  In distraction.  In worries and problems.  In getting things done.

And I forget what I promised myself when I was going through cancer treatments.

I wrote this in a blog post as I was finishing chemo:

You know what I’m afraid of now?  I’m afraid that I’ll forget all that I’ve learned and am learning from this path.  That I’ll go back to living a “normal” life where pain and suffering seem far away.  That I’ll forget that all of us have pain and suffering in this life and that all of us need – really need – each others’ kindness and compassion.  I don’t want to forget that.   I want to be healed, to feel healthy and strong again – but still to remember what’s it’s like to be broken, to be tired and in pain, to need others’ help, to look for and appreciate kindnesses, to depend on something larger than me, that something that some of us call God and others call the Universe, and to know I am not alone.  Not now.  Not ever.  I don’t want to forget that.

I promised myself that I’d pay attention, that I’d be grateful each day, that I’d appreciate the “little” things like a hot cup of coffee, the gradual lightening of sunrise, the softness of cat fur, being able to walk easily from a parking lot into a store or up the stairs from my basement, being able to taste and enjoy food.  The “normal” things.

And then I got busy.  And I forgot to pay attention, forgot to be grateful.

The last couple of weeks have been very busy.  My mind has been occupied with meeting obligations, with getting a business going, with fulfilling responsibility.

And in the midst of that I’ve overlooked beautiful sunrises.  I’ve gulped down coffee and food while thinking of totally unrelated situations.  I’ve worried about things that are beyond my control.

I’ve forgotten too much of what I learned on my cancer journey.

I needed a reminder.   And I got one today.

I saw my surgeon for a six-month follow up visit.  I parked in the same parking lot at the same building where I got my diagnosis.  The same building where I went for blood work and for radiation.  I remembered how weak I was some of those times, how it took all I had to walk from the nearest parking space into the building.

I got a good report today.

I also remembered my journey.

And I remembered my promise not to forget.

I recalibrated today.  I’m going to remind myself more often to be present, to be grateful.  To realize how we’re all connected, how we need each other, how we’re not alone.

I am grateful for health these three years after the start of my cancer journey.  I’m grateful for being able to walk quickly, easily, from a parking spot nowhere near the door into a building – and not even be tired!  I’m grateful to be busy, to be working, to be active.

I also remember what it was like to be weak, to feel broken.

Yes, I can be stupid . . . distracted, preoccupied.

But I can also be reminded.

I can remember.  I do remember.

And when I do, when I remember, I say,

Thank you. For it all.  

Every bit.


John takes a photo of Mt. Moran in Grand Teton National Park – a year ago today.

4 thoughts on “Sometimes I’m stupid, and I forget

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