A story that bears repeating. Pun intended 🙂
I found this greeting card yesterday at the local Market Basket. It was meant as a birthday card (who knows why) but I shall co-opt it to my own purposes.
This is not the downedest I’ve been (made up word intentional as well). Nope. Almost seven years ago, post progression on my second ALK inhibitor, I was getting chemo yet again. And although I was married at that time, I truly felt alone.
However, I’m pretty adept at turning inward for the things I need. And what I needed more than anything else was for someone to have my back. Literally and figuratively, as I desperately wanted to be held.
And so I turned to my imagination. Tried out some animals in my head (yeah, I’m a weirdo, I know). A wolf, a lion, and then a bear. Bear seemed just right. Kinda cute and cuddly looking but also potentially lethal. Just what I was looking for in a pal.
In my mind, bear was holding me. Big spoon, to be more explicit, those sharp claws resting gently on my forearm. ‘Bear,’ I said. ‘If you will just stay beside me while I’m going through this shit, I’ll make a deal with you. If I die, you can eat me. But if I don’t, you can’t.’ I could feel the bear’s breath on the back of my head. Bear didn’t budge.
Right there and then I decided bear would be my spirit animal.
Now and again, I call bear back. Although as time has gone on, I’ve needed him/her less and less. When I’m feeling strong, it’s a lion I imagine.
Having bear show up yesterday was a reminder that I’m not alone. Now there’s a chance that bear is hungry. But a deal is a deal and I’m not planning on being dinner.