Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just for the heck of it I decided to look up the word "umbrella" in the dictionary, since this group of colorful umbrellas, on the deck of the restaurant next to the beach we were sitting on, caught my eye. At first I thought that they just looked beautiful there; all the different colors opened up against the blue sky and the beautiful green trees. The sounds that emanated from the deck were also quite appealing. I overheard laughter, orders for drinks, food being consumed, children playing, motor boats revving, and dishes and utensils clanging. It sounded like a great party.

Today when I opened up Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary I thumbed down to the word umbrella and read the definition of this word. Now, despite the most obvious meaning (A collapsible shade for protection against weather consisting of fabric stretched over hinged ribs radiating from a central pole) there was a less obscure meaning that seemed to pop out at me.

*Something which covers or embraces [a broad range of elements or factors].

I seem to always find some hidden meaning in what grabs my attention. My friend, Kathy, says that not all things have hidden meaning. Sometimes they are just what they are: an umbrella. But for me, this photo of this group of umbrellas represents something to me that I never quite thought about until today when opening up this dictionary. These umbrellas represent what is happening to me right now in my life.

I soon will be going through radioactive iodine treatment for my thyroid cancer and there are so many unanswered questions, so many thoughts that pop into my head each day. I am grateful for what I have and for what I have been given but I also don't want to (am not READY to) give these up yet. I have done lots of research on thyroid cancer and it seems as though it is "one of the best" (is there such a thing) in terms of treatment options and one of the ones that is most easily treated. Yet, still, there is that nagging worry that comes over me and takes me to "the dark side". It is hard to believe and still feels so unreal when I see the words printed on the page: THYROID CANCER as my diagnosis. I never thought I would get cancer. Well, maybe I did if I really am honest with myself.

My father committed suicide when I was seven and since that time I have been dancing with the thought of death. Certain momentous times in my life would be marred by the fact that "maybe I wouldn't live to see my twenty-first birthday", "maybe I would never get to see my house completed", maybe... Certain phrases I would use such as "my neck is killing me" and when we had our house on the market and no one wanted to buy it we said we would stay because, in reality, we really love it here and couldn't find anything that compared. I remember saying to B: "they'll just have to carry me out of here in a pine box". I wish that I hadn't said or thought these things. Now I wish that I could take them all back because maybe, just maybe, the universe might grant me my wish. I hope not.

I hope now that there is time for me to turn my thought process around. Remember that phrase "Be careful what you wish for"? Well, I never wished for any of this. It was just "a slip of the tongue", just a phrase that I've heard over and over in my past and somehow it got inside MY brain and came out MY mouth. I take all those thoughts and words back now. I hope I didn't make a deal with the devil.

I am going to remain positive throughout this, respond well to the treatment, and live a long, happy, HEALTHY life. There--I said it! These umbrella are proof to me that there is something out there that will embrace and protect me...from the sun, the wind, myself, my negative thinking, from sickness, from just about anything as long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other in a steady march toward the future.

Now is all we have really anyway, right? The past and the future don't really exist. Maybe this is all just a dream. If so, I wish that I could wake up right now and feel "like my old self" again. Well, maybe not my OLD self! I wouldn't mind being a bit younger but with the same knowledge that I gained throughout my lifetime. If I can wish for anything that I want, why not wish for all the best, for all the good, for all the health that the universe can give. The universe offers us unlimited opportunities and resources during our lives (and beyond). It's what we do with them that counts. I'm staying under that umbrella! I'm not hiding though; not "covering". I'm "embracing"!

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