Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring 2014: A Bend in the Road

It's been more than a year and a half since my last blog entry, but now I'm back.

So, what's changed? A bend in the road.

Before the Bend
Normal purposeful stress...

Summer before last, I wrote, "It's all a matter of balancing purposeful stress with  intentional rest which leads to positive personal adaptations.That's the plan. What really happens will be the inevitable dance that happens when plan meets life, but that's half the fun. That's what I call Navigating Through Life!" 

For a year and a half it's been a nice dance. It's been fun.

Last school year (2012/13) went well. All the challenges were in a nice range of do-able, with only the amount of stress that keeps things interesting. 

The summer was also excellent. My grand-kids are now near-by, just two blocks away, so we get to be involved with the Haan clan on a regular basis. My daughter and son-in-law are great parents, so their kids are a joy to be around. It was a good mix of fun, helping out, and being entertained. 

This school year (2013/14) has been excellent as well. Changes at work mean that I'm concentrating my efforts on fewer students. The other teachers miss my help with their under-performers, but district policy has focused my efforts. I've enjoyed the changes. My small groups are smaller, and I'm able to teach writing in a more holistic manner (Writer's Workshop). Lots of good things are happening in my classroom.

The Bend
Found this on a six mile walk... processing the news.

So, what changed? What's the bend in the road? Life is easier when the stresses are purposeful, intentional, and minor. Those can be fun, but it's the unplanned bad stuff that sometimes sucks. 

About five or six weeks ago my wife discovered a lump in her left breast. It turns out that what she felt was just a bit of benign, fibrous tissue, but under that lump lurked a small malignant tumor. And the road turned: breast cancer.

We've been on a journey new to us, but familiar to many. After about ten diagnostic procedures and doctor's visits, surgery (lumpectomy) happened last Thursday, two days ago. Now, my wife is recovering from the surgery. 

I have a new role: nurse and care-giver. I guess it's just a new part of what it means to be a good husband: become what is needed based on what happens when "plan meets life." 

Bends in the road impede vision. But mostly, they require a change in speed, a change in direction, and a new sense of alertness and flexibility. 

Thanks to family and friends... 
That's where I'm at. Part way through the bend. The road doesn't end, it just bends. So what am I doing? Feeding my faith and starving my fears. Taking it a day at a time. Listening to the travel guides (doctors). And trying my best to be a good travel partner to my wife, whose life is traveling down roads that she and I would never have chosen. (We both lost our first spouses to cancer a decade and a half ago.) 

I'm back to blogging because I have some things to muse over. I'm back because, ultimately, I write to figure out what I think about things. I write because I'm hoping that it helps me navigate these bends in the road. And I write to inform fellow travelers that they aren't alone either. 

I saw a pink bumper sticker not long ago that said, "No one fights alone." This is me, not fighting alone.