Last night I stepped outside the front door in bare feet, which is usually a reasonable thing to do in Florida in January. The temperature was dropping, the driveway cold, a little wind, crisp air. I looked up into the sky, clouds racing by, breathing in the cold air, feeling free for a just a moment in my driveway. Free of burdens or worries or cares. Then I remembered my baby birds inside the house and how I am here to teach them to fly. Some days I push too hard, rushing them, and wishing I were more grown up myself. Wishing I had been a better planner, less of a follower, more of a leader, less acquiescing, more demanding. As if any of this would have prepared me for today, in this house, in this life.
I sit on the sofa tonight, demand Melanoma Man hold my hand. He complies. There is less, a smaller hand, a weaker hand, less each day. By next week the mustache will be gone. I've never seen him without it. He's had a mustache since 1975 I think. But I wasn't there in '75. I was busy working through the fourth grade.
Now I understand finally about May and December. They didn't seem so far apart when we were 25 and 42, 28 and 45, 32 and 49. It's my springtime, time to gear up for the next 40 years. Three months ago when he told our baby birds about the cancer being back,"Don't worry, I'm not losing my leaves yet, not yet."