I spent time with my grandmother yesterday. I call her Pooh. It's something only I call her and I think she finds it quite amusing. She is a remarkable woman. Strong, fiery, independent and fierce, I hope that some of her fighting spirit rubbed off on me during our visit.
You see Pooh was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer a few months ago. While some people in my family were pulling their hair and gnashing their teeth, she calmly decided that she was going to figure out how to live. She went with the most aggressive form of chemotherapy and said that you didn't get rid of cancer by throwing marshmallows at it. That's the kind of woman she is.
She also decided to get a puppy. And not just any ordinary puppy, but one that there is a waiting list for and it is in another state. One that won't be ready until Labor Day. That's foresight and planning and just plain pissing in the face of what's going on in her body. There are some people who think that's crazy, I think it's awesome. And she showed me the picture of the puppies who were just born a week ago. She has her pick of three, so she's now trying to decided which one she wants. She is also making a bed for it and my uncle's puppy which he is getting at the same time.
During our visit we talked a lot about everything that has been going on in my family for the last few years. We talked of my children, my illness, her therapy and a ton of other stuff. But most importantly we spoke of forgiveness. When she walked me to the door to say goodbye, she squeezed me tight, looked me in the eyes and said: "don't you worry about anyone else. You focus on forgiving yourself and everything else will come in time."
I drove away with tears in my eyes. Because she was right. This whole time, while I had been working through my mind thissituation, it never occurred to me that I have been blaming myself. But I have. For so many things. For letting other people down. For being sick and not being able to control it. For turning into someone I don't even know anymore because of that lack of control. For so many things.
So now I am working on forgiving myself for all of the blame I place on my own shoulders. The pain I feel inside for failing everyone in my life. The embarrassment of my illness and the failure of personal relationships in my life.
I am trying to be the best me I can be. And when I am good, I am very, very good. So I will focus on that. I will no longer take on more than I am capable of and feel like a failure when it doesn't work. I am a strong, confident woman and I will come back better than ever.