Culture, Life, Relationships


Perspective: how a health scare with my dad turned my eyes and heart back to the things that were most important.

29 days.  29 days that my life, our lives stood on pause.  As a wife, mother and employee, I had to continue on, but the things that took up my time, my thoughts, my attention – things that would normally give me happiness or frustration were just merely events that I watched, but didn’t really experience.  I didn’t exercise, food had no flavor, laughter took great effort and as cliché as it may sound, yes, sometimes I had to remind myself to breathe.

29 days.  29 days that my daddy, the rock of our family was in the hospital. What we thought was a simple virus, something that would be cured with antibiotics, turned into something much more –something we weren’t ready for – something that put a fear in my heart that I have never felt before – he had cancer – we had cancer.

With one diagnosis, I was in the club – the club that no one really ever wants to join, but you are so very thankful someone entered before you.  The battle lasted over a year and last month when I sat at the dinner table to celebrate my sisters “39th”birthday (again) I was able to look at the chair that belongs to him, and dad was there – he is there.

We all have been here, been in situations where something causes us to hit the pause button  –maybe birth, maybe death or maybe life throws you such a curve ball that all you can do is stand still – pause.

While there are many different things that cause us to hit the pause button, I do believe that a common thing happens to most of us –perspective.

I found that the politics of life didn’t really matter, that the possibility of gained pounds or sagging arms didn’t matter, the arguments had over policy, procedure and fairness didn’t matter, my debt snowball didn’t matter, the leaky roof on my rental house  – really, did. not. matter.

What mattered was that my dad had to get well – period.  He had to.

Perspective happens and when it does our minds take us on a journey – a journey of  what if’s – what if dad wasn’t in his chair – what if the surgery didn’t take it all – what if the chemo didn’t work – what if (fill in the blank)…  Through the lens of perspective I was able to see that what I had labeled as important in my life was really just responsibilities — things that have to have a place on my list of to-do, but not the top.  I would like to suggest that we all look at our life before tragedy strikes, welcome perspective before it forces its way in.  Ask ourselves “what if” and start making the necessary changes to put what matters the most as our top priority.

Perspective happens and it happened to me.  I had to regain my focus and in the cloud of Cancer, I found clarity – I found strength in my faith, in my family, and in my friends – the things that really matter.  The things that all other concerns now submit to – the things that when the pause button is pushed again, because it will be, are not to be put into perspective once more, because they have remained the priority

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