Maturity and Breast Cancer


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At night I used to lay in bed and listen to the traffic on the nearby freeway: eighteen wheelers jockeying for position with fast cars and motorcycles all revving their engines.  Power pushed to the max.  Sometimes their roar was cut short by a loud bang, the crushing sound of metal and the pulsating blare of emergency vehicles.  A cacophony of punks with too much testosterone, weary truck drivers pressured by overdue destinations and late night partiers who’d had one too many beers.  Where are they all going in such a hurry, this same cast of characters night after night?

It has been a longtime since I red-lined a powerful engine and let it fly, shifting into second, third, then slamming it into fourth and fifth gear.  How fast will it go?  The answer was found in disappearing telephone poles that flew past me like the speed of light while stopwatches ticked-off a quarter mile.

Since then my stopwatch has turned into a calendar, and the years have ticked-off a quarter century and then some.  It all goes by so quickly.  How much time have I wasted on pursuits of adrenaline and the agendas of the wrong men?  More importantly how long was I lost, unaware of what mattered most in life?  For a long time I traveled light: a camera case and a mindset ready for adventure.  No one to answer to and the time and money to do as I pleased.  

Those days seem like another lifetime.  Since breast cancer I find myself all too aware of that thing called mortality and my desire to do as I please has changed directions.  Now I’d rather live in the country with James and watch the stars track across the night sky as deer come up to feed and elk bugle in the distance.  No glaring traffic lights, no screeching reminders of a life without purposeI’m overcome with a desire to know I’ve made a difference in someone else’s life.  Maybe it is a sign of maturity, but then perhaps it is the voice of God.