A walk down memory-to-come-later lane

Happy New Year! I have one resolution for 2015:


And if  that’s too ambitious, my back-up goal is simply to have more fun this year; I worry too much.

I think all of the cancerous should keep their resolutions short-term, just to avoid disappointment. Don’t resolve to lose 30 pounds, that could take months. Resolve to lose four pounds and wear more vertical stripes.

Speaking of goals, I have written about Calgary cancer patient and family friend Tamara Gignac before. Here is a brief video she made with the Alberta Cancer Foundation:

As you can see, Tamara’s goals are essentially day to day. Everyone should embrace that philosophy, but perhaps some people believe there’s a guaranteed pay-off to postponing family time while they fret, plan and work.

There isn’t. The cancerous can tell you, nothing is guaranteed.

Tamara’s son is close in age to our Will. When she says she wants to walk him to his first day of kindergarten, my heart tightens. Since my diagnosis in 2011, this has been my one long-term goal above all others. I often picture that walk, from our house to the school where Will will begin his journey toward adulthood. If I can hang in, Will and I will reach that milestone this coming September.

I remember a similar walk I took with my mother 47 years ago. She held my hand and guided me over the unpaved streets of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, past the edge of the endless forest, to a small wooden building. This was a storied one-room schoolhouse, heated by a single wood-burning stove. (I remember trying to find that sweet spot on the floor between the heat of the stove and the chill from  icy windows.)

I was sad, scared and excited, but grateful she was there to walk me up those steps for the first time.

I want Will to have a memory like that, to hold on to for years afterward, just as I am holding on to it now.


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