There are times when I feel as if I could hike forever. A good trail with rolling hills, sun light burning down on me in the meadows and gently filtering in through the leaves in the forests. Earbuds playing my favorite tunes. I can walk and dance and sing all day. Especially when I want to avoid everything else.
Yesterday my mom was diagnosed with kidney cancer. It’s the same as I have – renal cell carcinoma. They haven’t staged it yet, but since it hasn’t spread, it is less severe, more easily treated than mine. Perhaps curable, unlike mine.
I feel so helpless. I can’t help her. I can’t help me. I barely have the ability to cope with my diagnosis. How can I support my mom in hers? Who will I cling to like I’ve clung to her? Will we cling to each other, hoping for the best?
I sit on the stone bridge where I’ve stopped for a rest and to write. To help clear the thoughts banging around in my brain. A cool breeze blows through, making the eucalyptus trees creak and the redwoods sway.
I tell myself I can’t go down the road of what ifs, even though I already have. What if it isn’t as simple as her doctors make it seem? What if? I can’t even go further down that path.
So I put the earbuds back in, pick myself up off that stone bridge, and start walking. Down a real path that is lined with trees and wildflowers. That will give me a little more time to escape from reality. Where I can sing and dance and hope nobody sees me trying to push these thoughts away.