My sister confessed to me recently as we reviewed some of the experiences we've shared - that there was a particular date - November 29th to be exact - when she had reached the same sad conclusion that I had mused about in these pages which was that there was a strong possibility that I simply wouldn't make it to this day...the day when we formally receive the keys to our new (old) wee home. While this has been its own roller-coaster ride of highs and lows - at that time, the symptoms of my kidney disease had become so debilitating that there wasn't a moment of the day I didn't feel sick and in pain. Fast forward to now and a month into finally seeking more aggressive support to manage those symptoms and with weekly visits from my lovely home care nurses - and I feel transformed. I can devote at least the morning hours as a functioning human being...get things done - see people in small windows - things that seemed impossible and beyond me. My family calls to ask how I am hanging in...and I will say in a clear, strong voice "I am excellent" and mean it...because all of these hours I have been able to get past my own decline - I have treasured in a way that is hard for me to articulate. It is not denial about where I am or what I know is to come - but just a deep appreciation for any time I can spend right now really being present with the people I love. Which is not to say that there haven't been bad days or those when the sadness of it all doesn't leak out - but those are as necessary as breathing...they need to happen - they are part of this story. And I can feel through it all my relationships deepen, become richer, the connections so much stronger than I dreamed possible. As weird as it may sound, I wouldn't have missed one minute of it - it was meant to be this way...it is what I deserved and I say that not in a voice of judgement - but a voice of appreciation for what I might have missed had these things not come to pass in quite the manner that they have.
So this afternoon, with the power of my will and my own two feet, I will receive those keys and step through the doors of what will be in a few short weeks - our new home and sanctuary. I will walk through the empty spaces and imagine what it will feel like when it is holding all of the things that remain that I truly treasure. Everything I have struggled for will come to pass. It is meant to be...it is a gift - one of so many that have come to me in these past months. As Maya Angelou describes "The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned". It is not the structure, or the amenities, but the people and pets who will surround me that will make it so.