This time, they pull me — but my work pushes me.
And this time, I make time for that work, for I understand that it drives me forward into the future. A future that I can create. A future that maybe, just maybe, can be about more than surviving to erase the maybe-days of a sad childhood that otherwise awaits my children* — a future that is also about me. My work. My loves. My legacy.
A future that is still open to me creating a new legacy, unlimited, rather than a month here and there alloted to put the polish on the small little legacy that I once thought would sit quietly in the corner of my lifetime, had it ended with my diagnosis in the too-bright summer of 2007. Two little boys. A five-year career with NASA. An overgrown garden. And a love that was at once the foundation and the fruit of all of these.
To this, I will add a return to faith. A book, or two. A job well done. A little extra exposure to a shared love of science among children of the internet. A tight web of friendships among people who had no right to ever expect to meet. And with faith and science and love comes hope.
hope that i am not done writing my legacy.
* It is a cold calculus, but true nonetheless: Every day that I can bear the chemo and push forward with confidence is a day that my children can live and grow in the sunshine of a “normal” childhood, and a day that I know that they are not saddled with the sadness of living without their mother. I seek normalcy for them above all else, and I do not hesitate to add moments of joy and abandon and paddling in the creek without our boots on. For of such everyday magic a childhood is made, and I am determined that my little loves will have good memories of growing up, of nature, and of being with their mama as she loved the world, and, for a time, it loved her back. Today I embrace nature, and faith, and joy, and hope without reservation, in the hope that it will be reflected in their own lives one day. If I cannot be there for them as they grow all the way up, I can at least give them a good foundation to build on. I can give them today.