Time Heals – slowly

Two years ago I wrote a post in early May. It was just before Mother’s Day and I was struggling with the worries and fears for my daughter and her partner. We were excited and fearful all in one breath. Each breath needed to be pushed forward to keep us going – to keep us from going under.

Here is how that post started:

“There have been so many disappointments for this young family – no breastfeeding, no working (she is a power house teacher who is missing her classroom at the end of a school year), no gardening (no hands in the soil due to chemo and no resistance to germs and bacteria), no hair, loss of salary, loss of energy, no working with the natural birth folks (everything now has medical in front of it with a big C).  We have not even gone to the discussion of surgery and long term medication to be sure this does not return. The no’s and negatives could take over if you let them.”

That Mother’s Day we shared with “happy” voices and honoring the soon to be Mother. We pushed the worries and fears and anger and confusion out of you heads for a few hours. We did what families do we gathered, we ate and we looked forward.

Now two years later – this family has weathered cancer, chemo, a pandemic, the racial riots in our city last summer, as well as emotional concerns from heath issue of other family members. It has been a rocking and rolling two years. There have been a few scares along the way but each time they/we have surfaced to find we have weathered each one.

So on Sunday we gathered – five of us sitting at our dinning room table in the late afternoon sun. Two faces joining us from New York on FaceTime. We eat, laughed and followed the joyous movements and chatting of a 23 month old. Through all the trauma and worry both Mom and Baby have come out on top.

There is a young boy running around letting us know what he wants, what he likes and how much he loves everyone. There is nothing like a little one saying “love you Gramma Grampa”.

The human body and soul are resilient. It is not to say that we do not struggle or that all the trauma is gone. We all still jump when a phone call comes that is not expected. We all still worry deep inside wondering will that cancer return. (It will be years before we really know if she is cancer free – this is how cancer goes but for this moment in time she is.) There is counseling to help deal with the worst of things. There is the talking honestly about what has happened. There is the just being there when anyone needs something.

The “just being there” is what keeps us as humans sane both mentally and physically health. The pandemic has helped teach all of us that lesson over and over again. It is not the big things but the little day to day things. The extra bar of chocolate, knowing that orange flowers over pink will bring a smile, giving the right books or making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies or just making space for people to sit and talk about anything.

When people ask did you have a good Mother’s Day – the answer is an overwhelming YES. “Oh – what did you do?” “Nothing and everything”, I say. I putts in the garden, I read and napped and then share a Happy Hour/ easy dinner with my kids and their families. We were just together. No big meal, no big discussions or talks. We laughed, following Little Man around with the computer so the New York crew could see him. We had wine or beer, cheese, veggies and dip, chocolate and rhubarb pie with “ice ceam”, as Little Man says. We gave each other hugs. We were family! Just family together!

My kids (that includes their partners for I now consider them my kids) are my Heroes! I learn so much from them, I admire all they have done and have overcome. I love that they will just come and be with us.

I know there will be bumps in the road – we all know life gives us ups and downs but for now we are on a up and I will enjoy every last minute of it.

Here is to family – to gatherings, to just being there for each other!

Here is wishing you also had a good weekend sharing time with family or friends. Life is too too short to not have people to just be with.

Little Man (almost 2)

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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3 Responses to Time Heals – slowly

  1. Patty Nault says:

    Everything about this post is simply beautiful.

  2. Look at that little guy. He’s precious, as are your daughter and her partner! There was much to celebrate on Sunday. Glad you had that opportunity to be together — virtually and in-person!

  3. Anita Ferreri says:

    The very best gifts are those that money cannot buy: the gift of healing hugs and giggling grandchildren. Your family has been through a lot and I am SO glad you could celebrate the day together.

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