I do not want my hugs for my children to be mystical things that they may or may not be imagining when they are teenagers, or 20 somethings, or even 34-year olds facing difficult circumstances. Because while those hugs are comforting mystical things, and I appreciate the effort it would take someone to reach from another place or way of being to hug her daughter, I would rather be able to physically hug my children when they need those hugs throughout their lives. So although I haven't decided if I am supposed to be fighting something or just being positive about it, so I am waffling between the two quite convincingly, hoping it will make me be alive until I am around 90, so I can give those hugs.
Tonight, I have tears of gratefulness for my college friends - a most amazing collection of females with whom I spent so many very early, chilly mornings, rowing ourselves to exhaustion before many people even considered waking up. I am thinking of the things we did together in that 8+ - really it was quite amazing and magical, the belief we had in each other and in ourselves, and the things we were able to accomplish and become. I'm thinking how in the really hard times, I would just focus in on Carrie or Laurie's back, or I would think about how Katherine was always right behind me (except for that one year when she was right in front of me), or how on horrible erg workouts I would sit next to Amy and just focus on her, and be as much like her as I could, and draw from her strength. I know we are all over the country (or even in another part of the world) right now, but I swear they are with me. I think of how strong we were together and I know I can be that strong right now and in the months ahead. It was such a long while ago, but those hours at that time in my life made me the best parts of who I am.
Right now I am sort of focusing in on some other people's backs (or their finishes like I did with Amy's on the erg!) - most especially Nancy's. I'm thinking of how some other strong women are behind me (not with the cancer, of course, but supportively), like Becky. I am so lucky to have so many people around, I can't even believe it. Bill keeps pointing out the silver linings (this used to drive me crazy, but I appreciate that about him now), and these people are definitely my silver lining!
But it really amazes me how much those early mornings and those friends still mean to me, and how I feel like I can do anything when I only think of them, and us. They might not even know how much they were pulling me through; how I felt like I could push myself each practice, each test, each race, just because I believed in them and felt like they believed in me. The pain, the tiredness, every single thing that was uncomfortable, annoying, or just plain hard (another piece? WHAT?) was possible because I knew they were working so hard and I wanted to either match them or work harder (probably not possible, but that was my goal, just so I didn't let them or myself down).
So now I am going back to my erg to contemplate life some more (I'm not as dedicated anymore...now I stop in the middle of a workout and write down ramblings, shame on me!) And maybe make myself so tired that I don't worry about anything tonight!