Saturday, February 2, 2013

Cowabunga

Dear John,
 
Today I've been thinking about surfing. Not the kind you do on surfboards, but the metaphorical kind. And recently I've felt like I've been surfing in a tsunami.
 
For years, surfing has been my metaphor for life. You know - life is like surfing. You never know when a wave is coming or how big it will be. And when it comes, you don't know where it will take you. All you can do is stay on your board, keep paddling, and try to be ready for it. And when it comes, you ride it. You do your best to stay upright. And when that wave ends, you look around and figure out where you are. Then you start getting ready for the next one.
 
The first wave was that 6-month fibro flare that started in October of 2010. There was a crisis in April, then the accident at the end of May, 2011. And at the end of June we got your cancer diagnosis. The water never settled down again, did it? There was one crisis after another, with very short times in between when we caught our breath a bit. Then the Category 5 hurricane hit a year ago.
 
I don't even know if I've stayed on the surfboard or not. If you consider my surfboard to be faith, then I have - that's the one thing that has never wavered. My faith muscles are tired and sore, but after all the exercise they've had, I look like I'm on faith steroids. I've washed up on shore more often that I can count. And now I'm so leery about waves that I strain my eyes watching the horizon.
 
The sun and saltwater have taken their toll. I'm older, more worn, tougher-skinned than I was. And I'm stronger than I was, sturdier, more accustomed to being independent. It didn't kill me, more the pity, so I suppose it must have made me stronger. But I still haven't figured out where I've washed up. This bit of shore is very, very different from any I've ever seen before. I seem to be stuck here until the next Cat 5, but I'm loathe to make myself at home here. I don't want another hurricane, but neither am I sure that I want to stay on this bit of beach. The good thing is that I don't control the weather, so it's not my decision.
 
So now I'm wandering around this strange strip of sand. And if I had my way, I'd spend all day sitting on a rock looking for a Coast Guard cutter to come rescue me. But there are things I have to do. I just hope nobody wants to send anything to make me even stronger.
 
Love you with all of me, love you forever,
Joan.
 


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