I never thought I’d live to say it, but here it is: It’s my daughter’s first day of senior year.
Cancer has now been my companion for over five years. It’s been an unwelcome visitor, a deadly ghost, an iron wheel turning under the street. And yet my daughter lives, I live, my husband lives—and this first day back at school is a sword in hope’s stone. We claim it, it is ours.
There will be no trumpets. A few screens will go black. We’ll look at the grass, finches will twitch, and the train calls will continue until dawn.
But eventually the fog will clear and in friendship with the scrub jays and bright red zinnias I get to say: I’m in remission, my daughter’s back at school, nothing in this can sway.
Who? asks the owl.
You, says the ground.
We recently had a company called Magic Hour provide a free photo shoot for our family. They do this work pro bono for people with cancer, and we are so grateful. The photographer who worked with us, Melissa of Icarian Photography, was wonderful. She made us feel instantly at ease. I have been in the mind of legacy lately, and what could be left for my daughter and husband, and so it was such a relief and gift to have this offered.
Here are a few shots:
I like to read. A lot. On days when fatigue wears me down, I rest here. Sometimes I close my eyes and the same soft breeze that brushes the Golden Gate wafts through those curtains. I remember the outside world, and I remember the long wide ocean that moves not far from me.
Our messy garden. The cherry tomatoes have gone bonkers. The colors and bees and flowers cheer me up. Sometimes the best living is not organized. In disarray you might find your heart.
And here, with my daughter, is mine.