Here in Wisconsin spring arrives slowly. Early spring teases us into believing winter is over, but we all know it’s really not for another month or so and even then it can still snow. It seems winter hangs on as long as possible. A warm day in the 50’s will be followed by one plunging us back into the 30’s or even 20’s. Winter doesn’t allow itself to go out too quietly. In fact, winter is delivering yet another punch here this week by depositing a few more (actually eight) final inches of snow, at least I hope they are the final ones!
Spring has to fight extra hard to break through the barrier of a long winter, but once it does, we will all realize it was well worth the wait.
Transitioning to spring often does get a bit messy around here, quite literally. This time of year the four-legged critters at my house turn into dirt and mud magnets. Just like children, they seem to be attracted to puddles, mud and miscellaneous wet bare patches in the yard. They seem enthralled by their newly rediscovered scavenger roles as they uncover all kinds of pleasantries in the yard that seem to daily appear as the snow slowly recedes revealing them. It seems the more disgusting such “treasures” are, the more they are valued and the harder it is for them to be surrendered up for proper disposal.
Another unwelcome mess, though totally unrelated to spring, greeted us the other evening. A malfunctioning water heater turned into a miniature geyser, causing a mini flood in our basement over the weekend. After much shuffling of furniture, storage containers and miscellaneous stuff that somehow basements seem to accumulate, we managed to get things cleaned up pretty well, although the carpets had to go. Luckily, my two sons were home from college for spring break and were able to pitch in on the cleanup.
While we cleaned up the mess, my husband remarked, “It’s not that bad, it’s not cancer.” Then he added, “And it’s not a tsunami.”
Everything indeed is relative. We don’t seem to get “rattled” so much by the small stuff anymore. Everything that happens to us is now evaluated according to our new cancer scale.
A basement full of water is messy, a genuine headache to be sure, even downright nasty, but it’s only a minor inconvenience. A tsunami, on the other hand, is a life altering tragedy of almost unimaginable magnitude. Thinking of the people in Japan and what they faced and will continue to face for months and even years, made it impossible to complain too much about a mere few inches of water in a basement.
Transitioning from winter to spring and life itself gets literally quite messy at times. Muddy shoes and paws, as well as wet basements, are real inconveniences to be sure. Such things cause us to complain a bit (or a lot) as we are forced to take extra time to deal with them, but they are merely temporary messes that slow us down.
Cancer creates a mess of a different sort. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own diagnosis or that of someone you love. Cancer messes everything up.
Cancer disturbs plans, order and smoothness, creating upheaval on an almost unmatchable scale. Cancer catches you off guard, like a sneak attack, often making its appearance when you least expect it (as if you ever did). Cancer forces you to make decisions and adjustments you never planned on making. Cancer leaves scars on the mind as well as the body.
Even when you are “done” treating your cancer, it leaves you feeling as if you have been left “hanging out in the wind.” You are left “dangling” a bit, as you try to pick up the pieces, figure things out and move on.
You “gather yourself up” and get started on “cleaning up the mess.”
How do you deal with the “messy stuff?”
This is Spring??
At least the mud is covered up again!