Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Celebrating 20 Years!

I've been sitting here for the last half hour thinking about the events of the last 20 years.
In 20 years, I've gone from being coupled, to single and coupled again. 
I lived on my own, moved back to my Dad's for a time, and back out on my own again before moving clear across the country. 

I met the man of my dreams, bought a house, got some kids and critters - and an ex-wife. I've become a wife, a step-mom, a grandma, and aunt and a daughter-in-law.  

I have had the opportunity to meet, befriend, and work with some of most wonderful people I've ever known. I have also lost special friends and loved ones, that can never be replaced.  

I was a daycare provider, a scouter, a guider, a volunteer, and friend -- as well as wife and stepmom.  We had hamsters, degus, rats, hamsters, mice, fish, cats, and dogs to name a few over the years.  I became the head zookeeper at what we'd affectionately dubbed "The Family Zoo."

I survived child custody drama, family court, broken hearts, walking on fields of lego, the dreaded attack of the head lice.  Poopy bums, and puking guts.. and the dreaded teenager unit -- X3!  

I went from being completely independent, to having others dependent on me -- being surrounded by friends, to feeling like a stranger in a lost land.  A seemingly single co-parent at times, with teddybear working over an hour away and long days -- many days I thought I'd go crazy. 

I went from being cast aside in a wheelchair, and learned to walk again at 38.  Made my way from Wheelchair, to walker, to quad-cane and cane with a leg brace to bombing around in 4 wheels much more to my liking.  Reserving those "special friends" for only occasional use. 

I have had the opportunity to realize several lifelong goals and participate in a lifestyle full of community activism, volunteerism,  and communications.  

What's the big deal you ask?  That all sounds pretty basic, right? 

20 years ago today, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after having been rushed to the hospital on an emergency basis while waiting for surgery.  They told me when I woke up, that they'd lost 3 litres of blood on the table and by all rights I should not have remained.  I spent many months in chemotherapy,  and just when I thought it was over, they found something else and had to go back in for more surgery.  

I lost my ability to have children, and embarked on a long road of medical trials and tribulations and challenges..   but you know what?

It was all worth it.  All the bumps and bruises, especially the bruises.  I don't think I would appreciate my place in this world now as much without them.  

You won't catch me complaining about my leg brace, or my limitations. 

Despite all odds - I got to stay here.. when life kicked me in the teeth, I somehow managed to get back up again.. people often ask me how I did it and they laugh when I say at the end of the day I still put my pants on, one leg a time..   You get through it because you don't stop to dwell on what you don't have.  Sure, we all have down days -- sometimes longer.. but they don't last.  

When I look back at the last 20 years, and all the things I would have missed if I hadn't been here.  So many things I would never have experienced, never have accomplished.  Projects I got to dream up and bring to fruition that would never existed had I not been here to suggest them.  

I only have to look at my kids --  our kids, my teddybear, my grandkids, and I have all the inspiration I need.  THEY were worth sticking around for.   I wouldn't trade this life for a single thing in this world.  <3

Today I give thanks, to a few special friends who stuck by me through the roughest parts of it all.  With a special shout out to the BC Cancer Agency,  Cancer Society and Vancouver Masons who take on such a Thankless job and smile through it all.  

Today, I send up hearts and hugs to my Dad.  He made me wake up and watch tv with him, or go for a drive or something every day during the whole of my chemo treatments.  Even on the days when I didn't feel like doing anything - eating anything - he'd make toast and see that I at least tried to eat it.  He kept telling me how I would beat it because I was a Wilson - tough like him!  He always made me laugh - and I will always think of him wearing my long-haired blond wig when I wouldn't wear it and smile because that's just what Dad's do.  
Our tradition was always for me to call and remind him we'd done another turn around the sun.  At 18 years, I told him just 2 more til 20 Dad ~ and he told me I was going to live forever..   I just wish he was here to see it too!  I love you Dad!  I miss you.  We made it!   <3
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