"The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine." Sextus Empiricus ~2nd century AD
As always, it begins with the phone call. It's always a phone call. My brother's disease. My dad's first strange blood result. I can remember exactly where I stood on each of these occasions. This time it heralds that the process of stem cell transplant is starting anew for my dad. Hope? Or, cancer calling western medicine's bluff? The gears of cancer begin to grind again. Not that they ever stopped. Perhaps we just stepped out of the mill these past few months. I could lie and say that I took advantage of this time by making the most of it. By making every moment count. By embracing the extra time away from cancer and greeting it with a cheery and grateful disposition.
I had a friend whom I hadn't seen in awhile recently ask me how I was doing. He asked it in a way that meant more than just the idle pleasantries of conversation. "Surviving," was my answer. It's not optimistic, but it is honest. To survive each day, each hour, each minute, even if it feels like I'm failing. Confront each challenge, even if it's weakly from my knees. Honor each feeling, even those most hollow and empty. Take stock of each sunset, even the bittersweet ones. Not to capitulate but first, to endure.