So Friday marked the first day of fall. And don't get me wrong - I love fall. Applesauce, apple cider, pumpkins, fall festivals, pulling out sweaters, fires in the fireplace. It is all lovely and wonderful.
But this year, the start of fall means something completely different to me. This year the start of fall marks the end of the summer I feel that cancer stole from me. And we can sugarcoat this summer as much as we want to, but the truth of the matter is that cancer did in fact steal my summer. Not only from me but from my family. All the places I would have taken the kids. All the days we would have gone to the pool, or on bike rides, or hung out at the park with friends. All the times my mom had to be over here when she could have been doing a million other things. All the work my husband had to miss. All the vacation time he took that wasn't spent on anything remotely near a vacation. I could go on and on with these examples.
I also know that not a single one of those people affected by my cancer would complain about it. At least not to me. What I call their sacrifices is what they call being part of a family. And while I appreciate that is how their attitude is about it, still, in my heart they all made big sacrifices. Our summer was stolen. And I feel jaded by this. I am hoping as time passes, this will sting a little less. Or that next summer will bring a redemption to this summer. Or heck, even as we head into winter, and life gets back to "normal" (whatever the heck normal can be at this point) that things will start to feel better to me.
And this isn't to say that I only see the missing parts. I don't. There was also so much love and support and help this summer. I haven't forgotten any of that. There is so much beauty to find in this past summer too. I know that and recognize that. It's just with summer now at an end, the unfairness of it all seems to weigh on me more heavily than it did before. Because I can't go backwards at this point. I can't make up for all we missed. I can only move forward. And summer is now behind us.
But summer isn't the only thing behind us right now. Chemotherapy - which was grueling and so much harder than I could have ever anticipated, is also behind us. The shock of diagnosis? Also behind us. Hopefully all the worst parts are behind us. And hopefully things will begin to get easier. We aren't to easy yet, but we are to easier. And that is a truly wonderful thing.