Every year, for the past 11 years, we have gone to a cottage on an island in Lake Muskoka to visit with my sister- and brother-in-law, the godparents of our two teenage boys. This year, I didn't think we would be able to keep the tradition alive simply because of the treatments I am receiving for colorectal cancer. But events and situations conspired to make it all possible. My only job was to drive the family to the cottage and back again to our home. As it turns out, that is something that is one of the most comfortable things I can do these days.
The weekend was fabulous. Our relatives are marvellous hosts and wonderful godparents to our children. This year's highlight (every year seems to have at least one standout memory) was watching my youngest son learn to water ski. It was also a lot of fun for me to listen to the family play euchre while I tried to get some rest (the only downside to the weekend was the sleepless nights and frequent bowel movements, probably a side-effect of the antibiotics I was on for the low-grade infection I suffered when my blood counts were so low). Listening to the laughter and grand standing, posturing, and nonsense was exactly what I needed.
And then there was the food and drink. My nurses at CCAC gave me the go-ahead to break my fast on beer, wine and maybe a mixed drink or two over the weekend. Apart from one beer that I had a couple of weeks prior, I have not imbibed at all since the beginning of the year, so it was a real treat to have some beer, wine and a couple rum and coke. Not to mention blue-berry pancakes, bacon, wonderful salads, selections from the Picard peanut gift pack we brought along, jelly beans, and so on. Oh yeah, my brother-in-law's BBQ treasures were fantastic too!
Probably the best healing aspect of the weekend, though, was having a chance to participate and listen in on conversations that would otherwise be unlikely. Phone calls just don't allow the time required or provide the relaxed atmosphere for talking at leisure about what's happening in our lives. The give and take of long conversations with people who truly make a difference in your life is a gift beyond measure.