Sunday, March 29, 2015

Life Changing Events

Many years ago, I taught a novel called Alas, Babylon to my students.

The novel deals with the effects of a nuclear war on the small town of Fort Repose, Florida, during the height of the Cold War. All major cities are destroyed, and this small town begins to rebuild.

In the book, the characters use the term The Day to mark the date of the nuclear war. They refer to events as “before The Day” or “after The Day.” 

The Day signified the beginning of their new life, the life that would be totally different from what they had known up until that point.

I’m sure we have all experienced days that we remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when a certain event happened. Most noteworthy are tragedies that happened during my parents’ generation -- Pearl Harbor and the assassination of President Kennedy.

My generation has its tragedies, too. We can tell you where we were when Robert Kennedy or John Lennon was shot and definitely what we were doing when 9/11/01 happened.

Other time-worthy events that change our lives are the births of our children. We usually comically refer to those times as BK (Before Kids) or AK (After Kids).

These time markers, like The Day in Alas, Babylon, usually bring about a change in our lives or at least a change in how we see the world around us.

I usually look at a change in my life, whether good or bad, and try to learn from it. For example, I will never forget when my second son was born and we were told that he had Down syndrome. That event changed my life, but the change is for the better. I was reluctant to accept the change because it’s not what I wanted or planned, but I adapted and my life became a “better” different.

About a month ago, we had to adapt to another of those life-changing times when the doctors told my husband, “You have lung cancer.” After the shock and immediate fear subsided, we had to totally revamp our lives to now include monthly chemotherapy and daily radiation, along with countless doctor appointments as well as trips to Tampa for a second opinion.  We have been forced to change the way we look at life, too. No longer am I counting down the days until I retire because I am living one day at a time. I’m also very grateful for each day, no matter how little sleep we have gotten or how many new things I have to do, such as medicine schedules, blood pressure records, or injections I have to give.

This new event is a change that I did not want to happen, but I am trying to find something good that has come out of it. So far, I have met some extremely nice and truly caring people that I never would have known before. I look around to see what I can do after we win our battle to help others who are fighting cancer. I have become more focused on telling people how much they mean to me. And although I have shed many tears, I have laughed lots, too.

These times, like The Day in Alas, Babylon, are important to remember, but we shouldn't dwell on them. Life can’t stop on that day; we have to accept the event, learn from it, do the best we can and move on.

Prayers are appreciated.

P.S. – If my posts are not as timely as before, I hope you will understand. As much as I love writing and hearing your comments, Pass the Honey may not be published every Saturday morning as I have done for the past year.