Sunday, 23 October 2016

I took this photo at a place called Whale Cove. 

I've been struggling with my depression again.  It's a sneaky bugger which I would quite happily bury in a very deep hole if only I could.  I feel better now.  The sun came out.  The snow melted.  I worked in the garden.  I bought a couch.  I saw my granddaughter.  Read a good book.  Hugged friends.  Had very good sex.  Not sure what did it, all of it, none of it.  Who knows.  But I feel better.

My son is hiding from me so I'm guessing he's doing things he's ashamed of again.  I'm hoping it's not dealing drugs.  He has a new girlfriend.  She has three small children and I hope for their sake that he's not dealing drugs.  Children need better than that.  That's probably most of what was dragging me down. 

I didn't know that I would still worry as much even after my children were grown.  I thought it would be easier.  It's not.

A friend of mine doesn't know how I do my job.  I work with cancer patients all day, some young, some old.  A friend of ours lost his wife to cancer this past summer and we went to her funeral.  The church was packed.  As I looked around at all the people there whose lives she had touched, I realized that every single patient that comes through our doors has that many people in their life.  It was an overwhelming thought.

A couple of weeks ago I had a young woman with a five month old baby, newly diagnosed with breast cancer.  I was asking her questions for the CT screening form and she started crying.  She was apologizing to me.  I asked if she was just diagnosed.  She said yes.  I asked if it had all become real and she said yes.  I told her to cry.  That I would come back.  That it was okay to cry. 

I feel privileged to take care of people who are so vulnerable.  They remind everyday that life is precious.  That I need to pull my head out of my ass and be thankful every single day because we don't know, none of us, how long we have left.  They remind me to appreciate a hug from a friend, a sunset, a slice of pecan pie, a squeal of delight from my granddaughter.  They remind me that I am alive and that's amazing. 

People often ask me how I can work in a cancer hospital, isn't it depressing?  And I answer no.  I work with people who have had the worst news they'll probably ever get and life goes on.  They still have to get up, they still have to live their lives and they find out shortly after their diagnosis that life does go on.  They can still laugh, they can still cry.  They're not dead yet.  They're alive and as long as they're alive they can enjoy life. 

I remember years ago watching a movie on TV and there was a line from the movie that said something like, "It's only when we face our own death that we truly live."  I know it's schmaltzy but it seems to be true.  Life is more precious once we realize we are dying. 


  1. deb, it is a privilege to be invited into what moves in you (privilege is such a powerful word). that it is sometimes difficult acts as a pressure that causes everything to shine.

    1. I can't leave a comment on your blog but I wanted to let you know that I think your photos are so beautiful.

  2. this is beautiful and what I needed to read today. Thank you.

  3. I am glad you are feeling better. High five in the most dignified way possible for very good sex!

  4. My best friend of 40 years also struggles with depression and in all those years the only thing I found I could do to help was to sit with her. Although she and I have both found that gratitude is a balm for many of our struggles. It sounds as if you have discovered the same thing and that you have much to be grateful for.

    Thanks for sharing your appreciation of life, even in the face of the black dogs of depression.

  5. Wonderful post. I am a bit in awe of the job you have. It is so important and filled with opportunities to help people who really need kindness.

  6. It's true. It is. And that is one of the blessings of my losing my dad and grandmother a month apart when I was 14 - followed not long after by losing a friend my age, and sandwiched by losing other relatives and a friend finding her brother, dead by suicide. I learned early on that death is real. I sometimes don't understand people who don't know this but of course, in our modern world, some don't.

    To you, I say: It's okay to cry. Just as okay for you to cry as it is for the cancer patients. Our losses are our losses. Our grief is our grief.

    Having weathered addiction - some of my own and many in kinship circle - I know what a heartbreak it is. That's always worth a good long cry and sometimes the flat out prostate prone of grief... letting the waves wash over you, feeling the despair. I've been there. And I hope I'm not there again but you never know. Too many in my family have walked that road for me to think it won't happen again.

    I'm glad you have so much sweetness in your life - the granddaughter, the husband, the sky - and that you have the mind and heart to see it.

    Life will always give us servings of everything. There's not really a no. Just the decision to accept the plate.

    With respect and understanding, ZC

  7. Yes, even during the Dark times, and I'm going thru a particularly gloomy Funk right now after having just lost my Mom very recently and dealing with Grief and Depression all at once, it is true that when faced with Death, be it your own or that of another, makes Life all the more Precious and worth squeezing every drop out of! And I'm in complete Agreement that one never, ever finds Parenting getting any easier, we will always be concerned for them no matter what their Age. Once my Friend Dorothy, who was in her 90's at the time, was telling me how much she was worried about her Daughter Peggy, who was in her 70's at the time... it made me Smile actually, a Mother's Love stays just as Profound always for us... Dawn... The Bohemian