Saturday, 1 June 2019

Happy to be alive

It's crazy to think that at the beginning of this week we were sitting around my mother-in-law's old kitchen table, having breakfast where Rich has eaten tens of thousands of meals. Between then and now we have traveled 9,000 km, the temperature doubled, I've done 4 loads of laundry, Rich dropped nearly 10 pounds of salt-induced water weight, I've worked 3 shifts and had 4 call backs, and Rich is on IV-antibiotics because his Lyme doesn't like to travel.
We are hopeful that with the return to our regular, calm life, combined with the drugs, the heat and the soothing nature of our animals we will get this latest relapse under control.

Despite this setback we are both so grateful. We are grateful that we had fun with our friends, that we saw our family, and that there are people on the other side of the world who love us and are happy to see us. But most of all we are grateful for living here, in this beautiful part of Canada, where we feel more at home and at peace than anywhere else. Just breathing in the gorgeously warm, pine-scented air relaxes us more than lying by a pool does. We love gazing out at the gently rolling hills, the ever-blue sky providing the most gorgeous backdrop. Our favorite view is looking at the grazing horses, the frolicking lambs and the chickens pecking away in the dirt, with our dogs by our feet and a warm cat in our laps.   
On my walks with Lily in Princeton I enjoy seeing the marmots by the river, their shrill whistle warning the others that a feisty corgi and her slightly out-of-breath mom are ambling along, disturbing their peace. They are everywhere right now, and I love seeing them standing there like tiny furry humans, disappearing quick as a flash into their holes when we come too close.   
We hang out by the river every day, Lily cooling off and me sitting on the rocks, being soothed by the water.
Our life isn't perfect (reminder: nobody's is!). Would we like for Rich's Lyme disease to disappear for another 50 years?* Of course we would. 
* He first had it at age 10, and it didn't come back until he was 63. 
Would I like to get a diagnosis and treatment for my persistent breathing problems? Yes, please. Would I like to get a job at home so I don't have to be away 50% of the time? Oh God yes. 
We have problems like everybody else, with other people, with each other, with stuff that's out of our hands. 
But we created a life that we truly, wholeheartedly love. We get up every morning happy to be alive. 
Every time we visit Germany there's a few less people around than the time before. My mother-in-law's living room walls are full of pictures of the people she loved and lost. In my immediate family we had 2 deaths in the last 2 years, my grandma and my aunt. Last month we lost one of our own in my old work family, which was a terrible shock to all of us because he was too young, too healthy and too full of life to die at 60.  

We all know where the journey ends. It's nothing to get upset about, because that's the price we all have to pay in order to hang out in this beautiful, terrible world for a while. Instead of worrying about it we should all enjoy the hell out of our lives, stop caring about other peoples' opinions, wear what we want, eat what we want, belly-lough daily, quit doing stuff that makes us miserable and create a life we fall in love with again and again. 

That's how we honor those who are gone, and that's how we can die peacefully one day: by knowing that we lived and loved and enjoyed the hell out of this one wild and precious life. 


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