It’s been 3 months since I held Joe’s hand. It feels like it’s been 3 years. Every single day feels so long, I often watch the minutes tick by. Mira has changed like every little girl her age. A week makes a big difference, months are monumental. She is not the same baby Joe knew, because of all this change around me it’s hard to know if I’m standing steady or bouncing back and forth between the walls to keep from falling over.
I can promise you I do not seem as “together” as it may seem though most people say, “You’re doing much better than I expected”. This makes me laugh because what did they expect? Should I be crying all the time? Should I seem sad? I save most of the really dark times for about 9 o’clock, after the baby is sleeping. Only then can I hear my own heart beat and the tip tap of the dog’s feet on the wood floors. I am alone with my sadness and it can be both overwhelming and totally liberating.
I know I want to do something with the sadness and the story that has become my life and every day I’m trying to re-define that goal while also keeping a 14 month old from eating mud or jumping off the couch. One minute I’m pretty sure I’m going to make a big difference in this world and the next I’m patting myself on the back for finally putting the load of clothes in the dryer I’ve re-ran four times as it sits in its own mildew scent.
Next month is colon cancer awareness month and I promise to tell our story over and over again. I want people to know that cancer happens to families just like yours. It happens to people like Joe, even with his perfect smile and those thick black locks of hair– he was not invincible to this disease.
I got the chance to talk about Joe and my dreams for living his legacy with Orange TV here in Orlando. Here is the clip. The doctor is Joe’s oncologist. It’s about 18 minutes long and to be honest I loved the host so much I forgot I was on TV and felt more like I was at counseling. I tend to do that these days, I love a good ‘over-share’.
March 6th is wear blue for colon cancer awareness day. Wear your blue and hashtag us with #CocktailsandChemo and #Joestong
March 8th is a memorial for all of our friends and family in Orlando. It’s at the Enzian Theatre in Maitland from noon to 2pm. CLICK HERE for details.
Thank you for your love and support every single day. I feel it.