Sunday, April 11, 2010

Waiting for the storm

My eyes pop open. I hear the droning sound of some large truck. The dogs stir and Sophie half-heartily barks at the intrusion of a good nights sleep. As I slowly start becoming more alert, I realize this is Sunday morning at 2:30, not garbage morning, not a work day. Still I don't want to get out of bed to walk to the window to see what intruder has disturbed us so early (or late a the case may be.)

Eventually the sound, moves down the street after 10 minutes or so, leaving the night as still as any I have heard. Not a whisper of a breeze, not a star in the sky. Still and black and void of activity and just a little frightening.

The storm is coming. The still before the storm is here. I can't do anything but wait. Wait to see what it brings. Lying there, I cannot fall back to sleep because my mind has swung into gear thinking of storms past and those to come.

Waiting is one of those things you do, because life is like that. It's a page turner where chapters are written so they leave you hanging, enticing you to turn the page to find out what happens next. If we were to know the outcome of everything, before it happened, the mystery would go out of it all. You could put down the book and not bother reading it at all. In life though, even in the final chapter you are left wondering whether or not life is a sequel or will THE END mean the end.

Along the way there are other waits. When you are young you wait to be old enough to ride a bike, old enough for your first kiss. You wonder sometimes if you will ever find the right person to share your life with. You wait for the right job, the better job, the best job. You wait for Christmas or an escrow. You wait to see if you get what you want for Christmas, and you wait to see if the escrow will close. So you see there is waiting on top of waiting on top of waiting.

Perhaps the most nerve-racking waiting of all is the waiting to get test results. Even though you have waiting before for results... this is eminently more unsettling.

For those who have gone through Cancer, there are many times along the way when you have to wait. The first test maybe be something that you hadn't any reason to fear. A simple blood test, a mammogram or scan. It is after the Doctor calls you and tells you, there is another test we need to do, because "it looks like it could be cancer," that your life is set at pause, pause in the middle of a muffled scream. The adrenaline kicks in and you can feel your heart race. Your eyes are stuck in open, as you wait for another surprise. You are wanting to run, but there is no where to go. You cannot move until someone hits play. You feel as if you are in some one's script, it's like high drama from someone else's imagination and you no longer have any control. It's a lot like the calm before the storm. It is still and dark and a little frightening. You just have to wait to see what the morning will bring. If the morning brings a windy deluge the lighten skies can take away some of the fear. At least you can see what is out there. At least you know what you are dealing with.

Life, its a page turner for sure.

Yesterday, Patti and I took a walk to Cavallo and on the way back we stopped at Ciao Bella Italy in Sausalito. We both love Italian Pottery and we thought we would just take a look. We struck up a conversation with one of the owners, and before leaving I asked her if she might be interested in donating an item for our auction at Wine Wars. She said she thought she might and asked me if my hat meant I had survived Breast Cancer for 15 years. I said yes, and Patti told her she had survived over a year since her diagnosis.

When I look back at my life, and how it becomes intertwined with others, perhaps some of the most meaningful encounters to me, come from this sharing of a common experience. It means something to stand next to someone who understands what it means to wait for the storm. There is something quite affirming to stand next to one who has weathered that storm and come out stronger for it.

What will the next chapter bring, I don't really know. But I know, it will be exciting!

It will be unbelievable... and boy you are going to want that Italian Teapot!