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Saturday was a great day. One of those times spent in easy joy with friends. A time that began with waking from an adult version of a pajama party (wine, cheese etc. after Come Sing the Messiah); moved on into a breakfast that morphed into lunch. A time when four o’clock in the afternoon quite suddenly seemed to come upon us out of nowhere. A time filled with good talk, ranging from discussions of children’s literature, to the vagaries of parenting, to first hand experiences of the role of the CIA in Latin America with all sorts of joking in between.

It was a great day but not all days are like that, some of them are downright bad. I note this because later on I met another friend who asked me how I was doing and who, when I told her, came up with the oft repeated mantra about how I should be living in the moment, one day at a time.

She’s a friend. She meant well but, as they do each time I hear them, her words caused a small spurt of anger in my veins. The truth is I don’t actually want to live in such a manner. I don’t believe we’re meant to. I believe we’re supposed to have dreams and schemes for the future, dates on our calendars; we’re supposed to plant seeds with thoughts of harvest--all of which means we will have hopes and fears.

The need for those hopes and fears doesn’t change in the face of a life threatening diagnosis of cancer (or any other disease for that matter). Yes, we may all step off the curb and get hit by a bus tomorrow but living with the fact of my own mortality two inches from my nose makes for an awareness that is way more immediate and compelling. That awareness is always with me, entwined inextricably with every minute of every day.

Acknowledging this is crucial to me. It doesn’t mean I don’t do things. Watch this space if you want assurance on that score. It doesn’t mean I’m in a constant state of angst and misery. Anyone who knows me even vaguely will attest to that. It just that whatever I do, I do it with the knowledge of cancer in my life.

So why does the “one day at a time” mantra make me angry? Because it’s glib, because it’s easy. Because it holds no recognition of what is actually being asked for. Above all, because I need my times of worry. I need my times of grief. They’re part of my humanity. If they’re lost, so am I.

A small rant but heartfelt. Fear not though, the Two Women are working busily on the Stories from the Ages: REDUX series scheduled for Peter Devine’s in Ottawa’s market area on Sunday nights throughout January. The tellers are chosen. They should have their stories picked by the middle of this week. Publicity is set to start going out soon after. We’re also getting ready for Christmas. Why not it's definitely going to happen!







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