dear rude and impatient I-75 motorist ---
i’m sorry i didn’t react much today to your angry horn honking. i realize you were looking for a little engagement when you gestured wildly and yelled something (most likely) obscene from behind your steering wheel. you’re exactly right, i didn’t move quickly enough and you were only letting me know how important and busy you are. trust me, i understand. and i'm sure, you probably desired much more from me than my weak wave. i have no doubt my lack of interaction disappointed.
but today you picked the wrong woman for a vehicular altercation. or maybe—depending on one's perspective—you picked exactly the right woman.
either way, you could have no way of knowing.
you didn’t know that, today—not every day, but today—i was feeling pretty unflappable. it’s not always the word i’d necessarily associate with my world, but this day you crossed paths with a woman who was actually somewhat serene. you intersected with a girl not willing to engage; with a person not needing to express her pent up emotions from behind her steering wheel.
for me, "too much life ahead" meant being around for the milestones … for the big moments. when i was sick and afraid of what the future might (or might not) bring, i remember pleading with God to make me well so that i might someday watch my children grow up … get married.
seven years ago when i was scared and wondering about my future, i remember finding the thought of not being present at my kids’ weddings unbearable. something about that specific image—more than anything else—rattled me. completely.
but, today, at my appointment, i was able to waltz in and announce to my doctor, that in just a couple more weeks, i’d be attending my first child’s wedding. i’d made it. that gruesome time 7 years ago full of mastectomies and medication has allowed me to be here today enjoying the final days and details before emily’s marriage. is that overly dramatic? perhaps. but, for me, it’s about perspective.
and dear rude and impatient I-75 motorist, no one—not even you with your incessant horn blowing and ugly expressions—is going to steal the joy i have on this july day seven years after cancer.
when i come across people who get caught up in the petty or allow for great impatience in the present, i realize i am typically dealing with someone who has never had to live in fear of dying. they’ve never been told cancer. they’ve never had to question the future.
don’t get me wrong. i don’t mean that to sound condescending or in any way superior. trust me, even a cancer diagnosis 7 years ago has not completely changed this woman. i wish it had. but, the truth is, i still have plenty of pettiness and a ridiculous amount of impatience. i often forget how precious life is. and, even with that altering experience 7 years ago, i still don’t always make the most of every moment. i forget. i take things for granted. i expect to live forever.
but today, in my good-report-appointment, i had the chance to be reminded of the gift i was given. and, thinking about the fact that in 16 days i will watch my girl walk down her wedding aisle, i’m sorry, but i just can’t get into it with you out there on the roadway. i’m sorry (not sorry) to say, you’ll have to find someone else to wrangle with.
please don’t read this as superiority, but as serenity.
don’t view me as graceful, but see me a grateful.
it's not about pride, but all about perspective.
you’ll just have to find someone else.