Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Paradise Dreams

    So I am going on vacation. Today. Like soon. I am going to San Francisco. I am flying. i am beachcombing. I am whale watching, baseball gaming, and Alcatrazing. I am streetcar riding. I am sight seeing. I am photographing, tasting, laughing, and enjoying. Well, that’s how I see it in my head anyway.
    You see, this trip has been planned since before my most recent ‘coming  out’ happened. Before I broke my back. So we discussed things I could do then. But as the saying goes: That was then, This is now. And I am much worse than I was 2012. And this is causing me a huge pile of anxiety-if you get my reference.
    I am very tall. Airplane rides are  not ever fun for me. Even when the person in front of me does not recline, my knees are jammed against their seat back and I feel it when they stretch. Now, I am swollen, stiff, sore and have a back injury. Yet I cannot fidget in my seat to relieve the pressure and pain I may feel. And everyone knows how easy it is for those of us with balance issues to wander the aisle of a moving airplane! Without face planting I mean!
    Then there’s the boats. And the waves. I’ve been told the Pacific is much choppier than the Atlantic. I’ve been whale watching on the Atlantic several times. Way back when I was well. I was awesome! Humpbacks and Right whales! But even then when a wave hit staying upright was not easy. And I didn’t even drink.
    Then there’s the trip I took when Josh was a baby and the waves were cresting over the bow drenching me head to toe (I did an absolutely perfect ‘mommy-Armadillo roll’ around josh and he stayed warm, dry and asleep!); I remember that even sitting hurt then due to the “back of the bus” effect of being tossed into the air then crashing back down onto the seat.         
    Now we have a scheduled Pacific Ocean trip. And it’s important to me. I want to scatter the remaining of my father’s ashes in the Pacific Ocean. That trip with the waves and josh I mentioned? We went as a family and scattered his ashes in the Atlantic off of Cape Cod. Each of us as children also kept some to put in a place special to us. I have waited nearly 19 years to do this. But I am injured.
    This disease and the subsequent broken bones it has caused-let’s face it,chemo meds for years, immunosuppressants for decades, will do a number on the strength and integrity of the skeleton that is supposed to support you for a lifetime-have taken the confidence I used to have in the fact that I could get through vacations with my family. I used to be fine years ago. Then I was just tired. Then I had to rest between activities. Then I hit the vacation when heat finally forced me to choose between my family and an activity or the hotel and rest. After that, I learned I had to choose rest. That was 5 years ago and I wasn’t broken.
    So I am going on vacation today. Soon. Really soon. And everything we planned as a family might end up just being nothing but a dream for me.

Sharilynn Battaglia


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