Happy Thanksgiving 2017
On Facebook this morning, a memory popped up from 5 years ago. I thought it was appropriate for many reasons. Tis the season. It ties our new Costa Rican adventure in with our present Thanksgiving. It’s the gap between 2012 and 2017 that is so very interesting for us and our family.
Facebook memory, “Happy Thanksgiving 2012, friends and family. I love you all. Making my first apple strudel with filo. Fingers are crossed. We are so fortunate to have Jai, Martine, Ken and Chevy all here in Costa Rica. When I reflect on this, it is almost unbelievable. A lot of faith, commitment and hard work made it happen.”
HP and I were thinking about this a couple of days ago. If our memories serve us well, this year is his first Thanksgiving with family since 2012. Wow! I am over-the-top grateful that he is here, and we are able to celebrate Thanksgiving together in our beloved state of Colorado. (We miss having you with us, Jai, and I hope you are doing something special in Michigan.)
Today, I remember the importance of remaining grateful. Perhaps, in the past, I selectively practiced gratefulness. Especially, when there were special moments/times to be grateful for. It was easy to be grateful when everything went well. What I had not learned yet was to be grateful during the darker times. To living in the Now. Just like gratefulness, it was easier to appreciate the Now moments with a gentle reminder from Eckhart, or Wayne, or Og (a special guru from many many years ago). But what I had not learned yet, through life experiences, was that being fully present in the Now moment was an actual place to reside. It has become my sanctuary.
Yesterday, HP and I went to see his oncologist. (Prior to treatment #5, she wanted to see him to discuss the next steps. She hinted that she may move him to a maintenance plan after #5, because he is doing so well, determined by his PET scan in October. As her words went through our personal filters, we both heard, “chances are very good that #5 is your last chemo treatment, and you will go onto maintenance”). So, with light hearts, we expected to get confirmation from her. But, that is not what happened, which is often the case with our fabricated expectations.
Yesterday, she said, “I will schedule treatment #6 for November 28, and then we will meet again after a CT scan to see what maintenance options will work best.” From that point on, all our other questions evaporated from our minds. Our hearts became heavier. But why did this news hit us harder than what we expected?After our appointment, we stopped at a nearby restaurant to grab something to eat. (HP’s appetite or taste for good food has never waned through his 5 treatments.) We were both quiet as we processed what had just happened.
Our conclusion is that our hearts became heavier for one reason only. It wasn’t because we heard bad news. There had not been any new test results to drive her decision down this “new” path. In reality, the path was not new at all. It had always been discussed, 6 treatments 21 days apart. She simply stayed the course. I can’t help but believe the one reason our hearts went from light to heavy in a matter of minutes was because our expectation bubble was popped.
The gap between 2012 and 2017 has taught us some very valuable life lessons. Even if there is a dark time, be more Grateful than ever. The Now moment is where peace lives. And, for heaven’s sake, try hard to not fabricate expectations. When the bubble pops, the pop can be very loud. HP and I talked about still being able to Dream and Hope, but at the same time Flow. When we are totally in the flow, there are no loud pops. Yesterday, we experienced some sadness. And I am so grateful for the sadness, because it was a great reminder of what is important in our lives… Family + Friends + Love + Gratefulness + Now + Flow + Dreams + Hope = Life. I’m confident this Unplanned Journey will shine a bright light on other life lessons, and I say,
“I am grateful for what I have learned along the way and for what is to come. Happy Thanksgiving to you all and your loved ones.”