My Ammunition

Here is a post from my now-dead Myspace page. I wrote this post on Monday, March 28, 2007. I was in the middle of a terrible nausea and vomiting phase. I also had a a stomach tube that had recently been placed.  Here’s what I wrote:

Yesterday was a good day.

[The family] and I went to Bodega Bay to visit the beach.  This was all [my wife’s] idea.  At first, I didn’t want to go.  I had a bunch of excuses lined up:

-I’m tired
-I can’t swim
-Even if I COULD swim, I can’t submerge in water because of the feeding tube (don’t want to risk infection)
-I’ll be too hot, just sitting on the beach without shade

I went anyway, mainly because I didn’t want to be a party pooper, but I wasn’t expecting much fun.

After a 2 hour-ish drive, we arrived.  It actually turned out to be a cool, breezy day.  I was cold, when I expected to be hot as hell.  Hey, cold weather’s better than heat, anyway.  They had set up a fold-out beach chair for me, so when I walked over, I sat and ate a sandwich (we had brought some snacks along).  I watched the waves and people from my seat.  I got cold enough that I covered myself with a beach towel.

After a little while, the group decided to go hunt for another beach.  We packed up, and drove north along the coast.  We found a beautiful section of beach that wasn’t as populated as the last one.

Again, I sat in a beach chair, bundled myself in a towel, and watched.  There was a moment when I was alone there.  [My daughter] and the others were looking for little shells and other sandy treasures – just having some fun.

As I sat there, I was taken aback by the awesomeness of this beach.  There were huge rock formations being pounded by big waves.  The sound was both calming and thrilling.  I took that time to thank God.  Well, to the thank Life, really (God’s another story).

I thanked Life for giving me eyes to allow me to admire the magnitude of that ocean.

I thanked Life for being able to hear the crash of the waves, and the splashing of the foam.

I thanked Life for allowing me to feel the slight sting of the cold, fresh, sea breeze against my skin.  I was really cold, but loving every minute of it.  I knew that I would be able to rely on this memory when I returned to the hot summer of Sacramento.

There I sat, amazed and awed by the overwhelming beauty and power of it all.  I smiled, remembering full well the excuses I had made before the trip.

These moments can be rare, but are so powerful, I think of them as my ammunition.  When days are dark and my body is worn, I look to those moments.  That moment on the beach was worth a moment in hell.  And as I continue my most current battle against my own body, I am locked and loaded with more than enough ammunition.  No matter how tough or painful it gets, I won’t ever run out of bullets.

When I read that again, it’s strange. On the one hand I love the spirit of optimism I had, but on the other hand… maybe I have run out of bullets.  Oh God, what if I have? I notice that I wrote “That moment on the beach was worth a moment in hell.” What I am dealing with now is not a moment of pain. It’s constant pain. It might be dulled with medication, but it’s ALWAYS there. No, I’m not out of bullets yet. But it is frightening when it feels as though my enemy (cancer, pain, obstacles) has an army of tanks and bombs and I’ve got a little pistol with a handful of bullets.

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