Icy breezes, dumping snow, sledding, warm sunshine, melting snow, rain and warming temperatures… this has been a winter of changing. And so it is for us, too…changing every day.
It seems like the last six years, for us, has been one huge experience of change: babies born, house bought and sold, multiple career changes, welcoming and leaving family, new food and exercise programs, pets loved and let go of. Our extended families went through job, health, and living situation changes, which directly impacted us. This past year may have seen the biggest changes yet for us, outside of newborn babies, with Matt joining the Navy and our little family leaving our family, friends, home, and community in Montana.
Our time in Illinois has been challenging at times in different ways–Matt continues to come up against obstacles on his path toward being a full-time professional musician, I often feel loss at having left the community of loving family surrounding us in Montana, and now in the Navy we have given up some freedoms of our time and location. Yet this new journey holds many blessings as well, including opportunities for deeper connection within our little family than we had before, chances to meet new people and explore new places and learn new things about ourselves, a letting-go of worrying about job security and fluctuating paychecks, and full medical coverage.
Health insurance is already serving us well during this new phase of Jessica’s recent diagnosis of breast cancer. This diagnosis is not a surprise–my mom had breast cancer twice and her mom died of it, but it was quite shocking for it to come this soon (I thought if it did show up it would be at least in another ten years). I don’t feel worried, to be honest, because I know I will come out on the other side and continue to be healthy and fit, I have seen my mom go through it and come out OK, we’re doing our research on it and making the best choices we know how to make, and I trust the state-of-the-art cancer center I get to go to and the doctors and nurses taking me through it. Parts of my body may be removed and replaced, I’ll probably have a short time of pain, and afterward I hope to have a lot more life ahead of me without cancer. I do feel sad that my children may have to battle cancer, too, but I also know that right now I get to be an example for them of going through this experience with truthfulness, vulnerability, strength and acceptance.
There will be more to come this winter, and I hope to share some of our changes here in this space.