Saturday, June 12, 2010

#182: What Cancer Can't Kill

My sleep? Sure. My confidence? Absolutely. But Cancer will never knock the hope out of me. Whatever God is up to, no matter how much I hate the working out of the plan, it is better than anything I can ask or imagine. How do I know? Because I woke up today.

I had a friend who used to share this exchange with me each morning.

"How are you today, Miss April."

"Honey, any day I get up out of bed is a good day."

There may come days when getting up is not an option for me. But still, morning will feel like a victory. The silence of the night gives way to Mum clearing her throat in the next room. Mrs P hums softly in her sleep. Jake's toenails click on the wood floors as he waits to make his first trip outside for the day. The windows are closed today. Too muggy for the luxury of damp moldy air, but when I open the door, the warm humidity greets me like a too friendly aunt with a loving, slightly sticky embrace.

When I began this blog, in earnest, it was about running. Running for my life. I was faithful in my workouts and had real success until I let myself be kicked down into the gutter. Losing my job back in 2008 was a blow from which I didn't know how to recover. It took away my hope. Oh, I kept fighting, but I'm not sure if my heart was really in it. In the course of the next few months, I spent time in hospitals and doctors' offices trying to regain myself. I haven't written much about all that. Later.

I found out a lot about old Pennsy, but I didn't find his spirit again. I didn't find the guy who hit the gym five days a week because it felt so good to do something he's never done before. I didn't find the geezer who tore up his calves trying to keep up with a pair of coeds who were walking in a charity race. I lost track of the idiot who was too stubborn or shy to ask for a spotter, and almost cut himself in half on the bench press one day. Or the guy who could finally do a dip press and squat his own weight.

I think I'm finding him again. He walks. He walks like an old man, hobbling around the block. Maybe a 10th of a mile, once or twice a day. But by God, the Fat Man is Walking. Morning is best, or right after a nap. I think that has something to do with last night's post. The night can feel like a coffin, sometimes. Walking feels like life.

I know there may come a time when Cancer takes that, too. It's not something I would welcome. I have yet to come to term with my own mortality, I promise you. Mrs P's Mamma once told me, "They all say I should stay home like a sick old lady. Well, I'm not gonna do it. When death comes for me, he's not gonna find me lying in my bed, he's gonna have to come looking for me running the roads in my old car."

Well when he comes looking for Pennsy, he's gonna find this Fat Man Running, with God's mysterious help.

Peace, y'all.

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