© 2017 by Lauren Wiatrek - Austin, TX
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Stuck on the Runway

08.08.2017

Have you ever had that feeling where you were sitting on a plane, on the runway, waiting for take-off? You keep yourself busy, by adjusting your seat, fixing the seat belt length, getting out your chosen book to read or magazine to browse through. Then suddenly the plane starts to move…your heart goes into your stomach in anticipation of lift off, but it seems to take longer than you thought… that’s where I am right now. Caught on the runway, in between take off.

 

I have spent the entirety of this summer watching people take off, to various places around the world... the beach, Ireland, Antigua, Canada, Michigan, etc. And it’s not that I am not happy for them, I think it’s wonderful people are traveling and taking advantage of life to explore and go new places. I have watched people go without care or wonder or looking back, because they are able. I have been on this strange platform doing a lot of waiting. It’s almost as if my life is on pause. I am waiting for my chemo to be over. I am waiting for surgery, I am waiting for this year to be over. I am waiting for the doctor to declare that I am, “free of disease.” I am waiting for my friends to come around and visit me or check in to see how I am doing.

 

It’s amazing how the world keeps spinning and how easily one can be left behind. I remember reading some articles about how some people just don’t know how to handle it all, so they disappear. That shocked me. I am such a people person, it is important to me to keep up with all of my friends and their kids and their lives. I’ve always been the one to reach out, the one to call, the one to text, the one to apologize. Because I don’t like conflict, I don’t like anyone to think I’ve done something wrong… I like peace. And I love my people. I love fellowship. And I know my expectations may be a tad unrealistic because all of my friends right now have little kids like me. We are all deep in the trenches of parenthood. So just as I am dealing with the circus of my littles, so are all my friends. Some still manage to reach out, some still manage to stop by, some still bring dinner. Others I hardly hear from. I am trying very, very hard not to get bitter or resentful because they are healthy, I am not. I am going through the worst part of my life, I could use more friends around me. I could use more friends to stop by and sit on the couch and just visit with me. I could use more friends who come by to go on a walk with me. Mostly because life is short and unfortunately with cancer once you are diagnosed, your future is uncertain. I know everyone’s future is uncertain, but it seems I’m on the clock now. I will fight this with everything I have to live those 60+ years, but facts are facts.

 

As a Christian, we are taught that earthly things will always disappoint, but Jesus won’t. That He needs to be our focus and Heaven is the place we will end up when it is our time and we will never be disappointed again. Part of me craves that feeling…can you imagine? To never feel pain, or guilt, or jealousy, or disappointment? How wonderful will that be?

 

However, it is not my time and I sit here frustrated because I am stuck. And only a small few get it. People don’t understand the physical toll, the emotional toll, the spiritual toll this takes. And I know it is only temporary, but it certainly feels like it’s going to last forever. Do you ever remember that feeling in high school? Like that four-year span was going to last forever, those days, those friends, the drama…forever. But then suddenly it didn’t and one day I woke up and was graduating high school…just like one day I will wake up and be done with chemo. And one day I will wake up and my surgery will be over, radiation will be over…one day summer 2018 will be here and my family will be on our way to Charlevoix, Michigan where we can breathe in the northern air, eat fresh fish, and immerse ourselves in nature. I have these low valley moments…I think they are normal. Mountainous moments show up shortly after…I can look forward to fall. To cooler weather, to pumpkins, to autumnal food, to fun activities with Halen’s school, to the end of chemo. All of those things are not too far away and make me smile when I think of them.

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