I intended to post this picture several weeks ago, i.e. in mid-November. The reason it wasn't posted is that I seem to have misplaced the cable I use to transfer pictures from my camera to my computer. Could it be that there is still some chemo-brain lingering, or is it old age? Doesn't really matter.
I took this picture at Dutch Gap near Richmond VA on November 12. Earlier in the year, I took a kayak tour of this area and when this picture was taken, I was riding my bicycle on a 5 mile loop around the area. I stopped to rest and soak in the view. Ironically, 3 years earlier, on November 12, I was taking in another view while seated in a comfortable chair. I was watching the TV in the chemo room while the nurse began to administer my first chemo treatment. Even though I initially regarded that day as the beginning of something bad, I now look back on it with a different view.
Maybe the cancer diagnosis I was given was not the beginning of an end, but, like Christmas, the beginning of a beginning. I think of all the times I have heard, "Now that Christmas is over....." in the past few days. Maybe all of the tasks associated with the preparation for the events that occur on December 25 are indeed completed, but Christmas really isn't over. It would be the same as mining the ore, refining it, shaping it into pieces of steel, cutting those pieces into parts, assembling them into a car, filling the car tank with gasoline and then letting it sit in your driveway without ever driving it.
The same with getting treatment for cancer. Sure, the process is cumbersome and for some folks completely awful. The point of it however, is not to die or look back on how hideous the process may have been, but to be able to....well, as I type this, I am listening to the voice of Boris Karloff...
"And they'll shriek squeaks and squeals, racing 'round on their wheels.
They'll dance with jingtinglers tied onto their heels.
They'll blow their floofloovers.
They'll bang their tartookas.
They'll blow their whohoopers.
They'll bang their gardookas.
They'll spin their trumtookas.
They'll slam their slooslunkas.
They'll beat their blumbloopas.
They'll wham their whowonkas.
And they'll play noisy games like zoozittacarzay,
A roller-skate type of lacrosse and croquet!
And then they'll make ear-splitting noises galooks
On their great big electro whocarnio flooks!
Then the Whos, young and old, will sit down to a feast.
And they'll feast! And they'll feast! And they'll FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST!" **
My friends, remember to feast - as a host and as a guest. That's what we do after Christmas.
** Text by Theodor Seuss Geisel, Bob Ogle and Irv Spector.