A Long Quiet River
May 11, 2016
By: Sarah Biardeau
I don’t know why I hadn’t already realized, or at least integrated, that life is a series of challenges, of ups and downs.
I know all too well that life is not a long string of good times each one more pleasant than the next. But today I am realizing that it will never be that way. That there will always be an unpleasant situation to experience, which is why I feel it’s so important for me to start to breathe a little more slowly. That even if some situations are harder than others and I might think I’m currently in the worst of them all, I am not immune to another even worse one occurring. And I have evidence to support that 😉
It’s the difference between cancer and childbirth. Strange comparison, right?! But it’s the one that I was making in my hospital bed.
When I gave birth, I really thought that it was the worst pain of my life. That there could be nothing more painful on earth. But today, I realize that spending 4 days in the ER, towards the end, starts to resemble the unpleasantness (if we can really call it an unpleasantness…) of childbirth. And the worst thing, I think, is to leave with nothing. No little baby, all pink, who comes home with you, and no oxytocin making you feel so full of love. No, just fatigue and that feeling of being severely sick of life.
And today, several months later, as life continues to run its course, and when my 4-year-old son sometimes brings out the worst in me, I realize that life is a series of challenges. Sometimes more intense – like cancer – sometimes a little bit lighter – like the driver who cuts you off or the flood in your basement or even the tantrum of the little one who doesn’t want to get dressed. I understand that it does nothing for me to hope that happiness will arrive, that it does nothing to hope it’ll stay. No, what I have to do is accept what happens and to try to find within it a ray of sunshine. Each and every time. And since it is far from being over, this life… at least, I really hope it is… I’ll go so far as to say that if one of the potential side effects of my lifelong medication actually occurs (another cancer…), well, it would mean that I am still alive… and so that I’d have a ton of rays of sunshine to find along my path.
I compare my life to this image found on the internet: https://quebecme.me/ZGx2ZQp. And I tell myself that the finish line represents wisdom or old age, depending how much time cancer will let me live. And today, at 37 years old, I find myself a little wiser.
We are far from the long quiet river… Fortunately!