there’s nothing like airline turbulence to get me thinking about my life. it’s like suddenly all the certainty I had about getting to my final destination and the fun ahead is on permanent hold as I blow in the harsh wind. did i kiss my husband good-bye? did i snipe at my kids this morning before i left for the airport? did i pat the dog?
do my children understand that you have to spray stains before you put them in the washing machine. do they know how to make a hospital corner with the sheets. have i taught them to be good, kind people in this world. does my husband know how important he is to me.
so i’m sitting here rattling in seat 14A over the Sierras at 35 thousand miles in the air thinking of all those things and suddenly I am reminded of cancer–and how this sudden fear and panic feels very much like the one that comes and goes in a life fighting cancer for the first time or else living with it. One minute i’m sailing along at 500 miles an hour in my life and all is smooth, then suddenly the world shakes underneath me as i maybe get a bad lab test back or i see someone with a scarf around their head and it all comes back to me. holy crap i have cancer. did i do all the right things while i had the chance?
most of the time i know i’ve done the right things: i’ve said the right words, i tell my people that I love them–as often as will allow without sounding creepy. but on the days when the medical horizon looks bleak or worse–scary, like that last bump i just felt in this plane–i wonder if they heard me. or if i told them enough.
of course, in the case of turbulence, there’s nothing i can do about that now–strapped in this circus ride of a plan trip, tilt-a-whirling across the country to debut my one-woman-show, In The Pink, outside of Boston, MA this weekend. i’ve done what i’ve done and until my feet hit terra-firma there’s nothing i can do but breathe and stay calm and know that i’ve done what i’ve done, which was my best–which is all i can do. i’m pretty sure I kissed my husband at least twice this morning; my kids all got hugs–though they didn’t make their beds. and the dog? i definitely forgot to pat the dog. oops.
but the rest–it was my best. i did my best–and that’s what i always tell my kids–always do your best. no more, and definitely no less. and while they may not be able to pass the hospital-corner segment of a bed-making contest, my kids have definitely learned that lesson from me–of that I am certain.
all the rest–the dog, the laundry, the cancer–who knows…but I’m doing my best–that one I know. so while i sway up here in the jet stream breeze, at least i can feel certain about that.