Friday I finished radiation treatment #19 in my journey towards 40. I am at the center the same time every morning five days a week. The valet guy doesn’t even give me a ticket any more. He always greets me warmly. The other day his smile was bigger than I ever saw. The person who had just left had told him: “You always have a good word for me and this is just because I can and just because I want to.” And he was handed three one hundred dollar bills. (That put my bagels and donuts in place!)
This is what my daily radiation ritual is teaching me. This is what the valet guy and I learned. Life is filled with surprises. Some are good, some are challenging, some manageable, some frightening. But everything has consequences. Even that which is designed to heal and cure has the potential to injure and disable. One of the hardest parts is feeling you have no control and you don’t choose what you have been given or what just comes your way. I’ve been good so far – minor stuff and annoyances – but all within the range of “this should be the worst”. So I am grateful but also a little anxious about 20 -40. I keep telling myself not to let my imaginary concerns about tomorrow disturb the blessings of today. I have learned it’s about feeling the sun on your face, smiling back and sharing in the joy of living through every minute.
This weekend our youngest granddaughter became a Bat Mitzvah. She was called to the Torah and we celebrated her growth, her accomplishments, her determination, her spirit, her smile, her love of life and her family’s love of her. I don’t think any of us could have been prouder. I started this blog off saying 19 out of 40. But the most important number is 5 out of 5. Maya is the fifth of our five grandchildren who have blessed us by their commitment to Jewish life. And they were all here this weekend. So if you want to talk about what I am learning – savor every blessing, big and small, whether they come in batches or one by one, or five at a time, because the challenges just keep rolling in whether you want them or not.
This is what I really know. Life isn’t meant to be easy. Life is meant to be purposeful and sacred. And the hard, the scary, the challenging intensify what really is important. This weekend was a gift: family, food, friends, sunshine, laughter, love. It was one of those mountain moments on the journey.
Maya, Maya, Maya – we love you.