Yep, that’s right.
I had to uproot and call another place home.
In two months’ time I managed to fall down the basement stairs not once, but twice at the first house. That is also where I discovered my talent for falling up the stairs, which resulted in a broken toe.
Because my son suddenly sees me as being one or two steps away from needing full nursing care and oatmeal on a bib, he strongly suggested that I find a house with no stairs.
I took that advice before my kid hired a private nurse to police my daily life.
Anyway, since moving back, I work an insane amount of hours in an effort to dig out from all the medical bills and get back on my feet. Because some of my work is freelance, I am expected to hit deadlines, even if I am half dead with malaria.
Moving from one house to the other while juggling a half-dozen part-time jobs with demanding deadlines was a big test on my nerve endings.
I am not kidding you, either. Not one little bit. Last week I packed plenty of boxes while conducting interviews at the same time.
I might be older now, but I sure ain’t dead. In fact, I might gripe and whine about it, but when the chips are down I can still run with the big dogs.
Put your money on this old gal because I never throw in the towel.
So anyway, in the midst of the moving nightmare, I was swamped with deadlines to meet and was forced to miss my only child’s birthday.
After not being able to be with him on his birthday and then crying all day about it for the three years I lived in Florida, I thought I was finally past that kind of hurt to the heart.
But this year, instead of being 1,200 miles away, I was only 20 minutes away. Yet, I still missed his birthday. And I still snotted all over the place about it too.
On Sunday I went to his and my daughter-in-law’s house to prepare a big spread for breakfast. With a limited budget, it was the only thing I could think to do that he would truly appreciate and enjoy.
He scarfed up the gravy and gobbled up nine biscuits, along with a couple of eggs and some muffins.
For just a few minutes I saw him as a gangly teenager again, excited about soccer and cars and college plans. Then he turned into an exhausted college student for a while, sacked out on the couch after eating nearly everything in the kitchen.
When I looked at him more closely, I saw a grown man.
I thought about those early days with the breast cancer diagnosis last year, days when I wondered if I would be around for years and years, to gratefully watch my son live an incredible life filled with lots of blessings.
Yes, I missed his actual birthday.
But then again, every day is his birthday. Every day is my birthday too.
Breast cancer taught me not to take any moments for granted.
For all of his life I have always thrown my arms around my boy and reminded him that he is so loved.
After breast cancer, I laugh more deeply with him. I hold him longer. I breathe in the scent of him. And I never stop being grateful that I am still hanging around, sharing the world with such a great young man.