For reasons unknown, I have not been able to make myself go to Children's Hospital with Wishing Rock Bags. I have them packed, I have sorted, I have great new People Magazines, but I have not been able to go. I plan it and then when it is time to leave, I take to my bed to watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Yes, it is bad. It can be very very bad.
I had a million and one reasons for not going. I was tired, I might have the bubonic plague, there is a terror alert, and I am on the top of the list. They won't let me in. The Seattle Guild Society was right, these silly little bags are meaningless.
Then I had to go. I made myself go. I told someone I was going. I had to do it. And I did.
I went. And I remembered why I do this. I let someone tell me their story. I listened to them, told them hospital survival secrets and let them know about Midnight Bacon.
Something about the act of giving back and listening and just being there is so potent. We don't even have to know each other's names we just know. We know the deep-seated fear, the questioning of everything that might have caused the issue. The wondering "WHY" no one found it earlier. The realization that no matter what you do or what you let them do to your children, it might not be enough. It might not work. It does not work sometimes. It might come back. The treatment might bring more cancer and an endless list of long-term side effects. Knowing the fear never goes away. Knowing the future is something other's can focus upon because we have just this moment in time.
Life is so much more than what we had planned and more about what we can do this moment. It's okay to watch your friend's lives continue. Plans being made. It is part of your stepping off the path.
When I was in highschool, I read a Ray Bradbury short story about a man that returned to Dinosaur times to hunt. There was required path, and you were only to kill the appointed Dinosaur. It had been determined it would die soon and not affect the timeline. This man stepped off the path and upon return he found a small glistening blue butterfly on his boot. When the doors opened to return him after the hunt,
everything seemed familiar but were slightly off. It was not the same. It is never going to be the same. No matter how hard we try and no matter how hard we pretend and no matter how hard everyone wants it to be the same, We stepped off the path.
The only thing we can do is help those behind us.
So.... I will consider myself cured of the plague, be kind to security and keep at it. Besides, I'm almost caught up with the Kardashians.