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Learning From Change

Last week marked my son's 14th birthday, although he's no longer with me. I have spent more than three years learning how to live without him, learning what kind of person I will be going forward, learning what it's like to have a piece of my heart missing forever. This week I will have the final interviews for a job in another city. Should I accept any forthcoming offer, it would mean learning a new place, new friends, new work.

Change is a great motivator. When something changes in our lives, we have no choice but to accommodate it. Sometimes that means we fight it, but in the end, change will have its way. It can be big and scary and often disorienting, particularly when it's a change we didn't see coming.

I did not foresee cancer claiming the life of my youngest son, not even when he was lying in a hospital bed as the medical staff prepared for a brain biopsy. The idea of cancer never even crossed my mind. The changes in my family's lives were enormous and devastating. That kind of change is overwhelming, so immense one can barely process it. It carries you along like a torrent and you have no choice but to sink or swim. I swam with all my might, and continue to tread water to this day. I refuse to go under.

What I CAN foresee is the possibility of a new job with a new company in a new city. This is the kind of change for which I can

prepare though, one over which I'd have control. And yet I am struggling with that control, having become so used to the unforgiving torrent. I need to realize that this is a life decision over which I can reign. It does not direct me - I direct it. It's taking me a while to come to terms with this, as odd as that might seem. Having to deal with a life-altering terminal illness over which I had no control has led me into a certain state where I have just continue to bat away and/or deal with one issue after another in a rather "fight or flight" kind of way.

But the very real possibility of getting a great offer to move to another city is an entirely different matter, one that would wholly be MY choice. It's not leading me. I am leading it. This is a change I can see coming from a distance. I just need to prepare for the possibility of swimming some more.

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