Hang on!

Roller coasters. I feel like you either love them or avoid them at all costs. I’ve been on more actual roller coasters in the last 6 years than my previous 41 years combined. I’ve had my share of emotional and life related roller coasters also.

Last week marked 6 years since I rang the bell at the cancer center, signaling the end of active treatment. The 5 months from diagnosis to bell ringing was a fast roller coaster. It had lots of twists and turns. It made me sick to my stomach at times, elated, feeling like I was just dropped 7 stories, smiling, upside down, laughing and wanting to scream. It felt like the slow “click-click-click” as you inch towards the top peak, and the racing/rattling of the downward descent. You feel relief when the ride stops, but then you realize that wasn’t the end. There is another section. It might be the lazy river but it might be the corkscrew or a 100 year old wooden roller coaster. You might even get stuck at the upward ascent (this actually happened to us – someone had their phone out and was going to take pictures, which is against their rules).

The last 6 years have had plenty of roller coaster moments, but none as quick as those 5 months. I could almost break the last 6 years up into separate “rides.” …Cancer treatment…recovery…selling a house…moving…having teenagers…starting a new job…loss of friends…loved ones with cancer…pandemic…distance learning…starting a farm & business…writing for a compilation book. Each different in their own way, but not without their twists and turns. The roller coaster in the photo happens to be one in the shape of a cancer ribbon. I thought it was fitting for me. Your roller coaster will look completely different. Yours may be full of people or just have a few. You might be laughing the whole time or scared to death. You may feel like you are completely in the dark or basking in a bright sunny day. None of it is wrong, it’s just part of life.

There are some upcoming roller coaster rides that I’m aware of – graduation, moving the oldest son from MN to MT, having a chapter published in an actual book, adjusting to one son at home, driver’s ed… but there are so many that aren’t planned also. There will be times we want to close our eyes and hope it will end and other times when we want to enjoy the view. I’m thankful to have you on my roller coaster ride. Wait, do rides make you sick? I’ll sit in front.

I wish you peace on your journey of enough. May your roller coaster ride have some great times, with you in the front row. Throw your hands in the air, take some Dramamine and don’t forget to take the change out of your pocket. Hang on!

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