Solstice. A half year since Mom's diagnosis. The earth has cycled from the peak of darkness to the peak of light. So too has my family. Not that everything is fine now, we clearly still live life in the constant shadow of cancer. But we have learned lightness from Mom's ever positive outlook, learned community from the endless parade of visitors and helpers, and learned acceptance from simply being inhabitants of this universe.
And though those first weeks were gut wrenching and horrible; and though those first two months were impossible, dividing my life between two coasts, always wishing I was somewhere else, always feeling in the wrong space; and how even now I will sometimes find myself sobbing uncontrollably because I feel so achingly sad about how Mom's life is now, I have found it impossible to sink into depression or despair. In fact, quite the opposite. I refuse to be angry at life. And as the greatest F U to cancer I can think of, Gary and I are planning to welcome a child into our lives.
My pregnancy has brought me even closer to Mom. My weeks 6 through 12 were basically spent in a nauseous haze, though there were some inexplicable bright days. Inevitably, those were days that Mom was also feeling abnormally good. And days where I couldn't leave the couch until 1pm, I would call Mom up and we'd discuss ginger ale and peppermint gum and saltines. And now that I am on the cusp of my second trimester, and feeling more like my normal self, Mom is also feeling great. I gained five pounds, she gained one. We both sat in the solstice sunshine today, though on opposite coasts; tomorrow we'll sit in the same room.
Everything about the past six months has prepared me so well for pregnancy. I have had a completely normal and healthy pregnancy for the past 13 and a half weeks. Everything is progressing the way it should and we have no reason to suspect we won't have a healthy baby this January. And yet, I have other dear ones who have lost a pregnancy at 14, 18, 39 weeks. I know nothing is promised to us, that even if pregnancy and birth go perfectly, we still run risks of loss. That's life. That's part of the wonder and mystery and sheer joy of everything. We get to hope with all of our hearts. It's healthy, this hope. It's terrifying and irrational, but what better way to mark summer solstice than with hope. Knowing that the days now will start to get shorter again, and we're slowly marching our way back to the dark time of year, we hope that in next year's darkest days, we'll have a new member of our family.