Cancer moments…we’ve all had them. Where we were when the doctor walked in and said, “You have cancer.” What we did in the hours after hearing those words. I wouldn’t go back to the restaurant we were in that night. It would take years before Leroy would convince me it wasn’t the restaurant’s fault. He liked the food there and I finally agreed to order take-out for him.
I remember his first radiation treatment and the day he rang the gong to signal his last radiation too. I remember his first trip to the chemo room and I remember the afternoon I sat on the edge of the bed when he looked at me and said “We’ve got to talk about you when I’m gone.”
Oh, my heart still sinks when I think about it. A hollow feeling fills my chest to this day. But he had some things he needed to say and as hard as it was for both of us, we needed to have that conversation. Among the things he said to me was something that echo’s in my head more than three years later. He said, “Don’t do anything for a year.” “I know you, and please, don’t make any big decisions for at least a year.”
I listened and I followed his request and I’ll tell you the truth, he was right. I was in no way prepared to make big changes to my life after losing him. Big changes had already rocked me to the core. And here I am getting ready to make my annual trip to Maui to revisit the place we shared together, the place where his ashes are scattered and I think about that cancer moment.
How much time do you need to rebound from a loss? How long before you’re ready to resume living in real time?
Think back to your cancer moments….the answer is there somewhere.