Simultaneously, a happening in our life that occurs 'at the same time' that can often be overlooked. Last night I realized that this was exactly what happened at the time I was diagnosed with cancer.
When major things happen in our lives we are so focused on them that we miss the other things that may be going on at the same time. I had this amazing revelation and know this is true because after my initial diagnoses I seemed to have gone to a place that just kept me sane enough to deal with what was happening as far as the cancer was concerned. I remember very clearly that one day about six months later I noticed a small donut shop that had always been close to my house was now a diner. I was so surprised and sure that it must have changed over night. No, friends told me its been like that for about six months!!!! There were other moments like that for a few years afterwards....it seems that I just wasn't noticing anything that didn't directly concern my cancer. The brain is an amazing creation and it was probably all I could do to just find my way through my own immediate life than try and assimilate the normal everyday occurrences happening all around.
The reason I write this is that last night I was made aware of another simultaneous event that took place at exactly the same time as my cancer diagnoses, but until now I never made the connection. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason and there are no coincidences. Here is what happened.
Just before June of 2001 when I would find out that I had Ovarian Cancer, a woman came into my life. She started out by offering to help me organize an event at the high school as she was on maternity leave and was coming to the high school in the fall. It was an opportunity for her to re-enter the work arena on a volunteer basis, get her children used to her being out of the house periodically, and meet some of the students she would be teaching in the fall. We became fast friends. Over the past 10 1/2 years our friendship has blossomed into almost a sister relationship and I feel very much a part of her family. Through her I have come to know the most wonderful group of people and they have been the backbone of my support over the years. Each one has brought something into my life, usually initially through their children. Not working and being a little older allowed me to become sort of the universal babysitter for the various couples. These relationships now though are more than what I have ever had with a group of friends. Last night we celebrated our Christmas dinner and there was 20 of us who ate, drank, laughed, talked, hugged and just enjoyed each others company before heading off to celebrated Christmas with our various families. This is the second year that we have done a planned Christmas dinner. We usually meet as a group of women once a month regularly and at this time we allow the men to join us!!!!
Simultaneously, God gave me what I was going to need to deal with my disease, and the new life that it would entail. I have in my life the most wonderful people. The second event that happened not immediately after but because of the situation I found myself in, not being able to work due to my illness, is the knitting group. Now I have friends who mainly live a similar lifestyle as myself with days that include many other things besides going to work. I have a part time job because of the knitting which has allowed me to get to know many more people I again would never have met otherwise. My life as evolved in a way that I would never have imagined, but until now I don't think I ever realized that it was evolving at the 'same time' I was dealing with my disease.
So, what's the moral of this story. I guess when we find ourselves in times of struggle, sadness, and perhaps just overwhelmed by parts of life maybe we should take a minute and see what is going on simultaneously. Our lives are always multi-faceted and we must never ignore the whole picture by being too focused on the parts.
Simultaneously to receiving my cancer diagnoses my life was exploding in blessings that still exist today, as does the cancer.......what an interesting life I have and I wouldn't change it for anything!