It’s that time of the year where every day I think about what we were doing three years ago today, in the days leading up to Zoe’s relapse and the last few weeks we had with her before she died. I think about it in vague terms because I didn’t keep a diary, just posted a couple of random blog entries and I have never gone back and looked at my facebook posts from that time.
But earlier this year I unthinkingly activated facebook memories. Now I am getting daily reminders of what I was thinking and doing on this day last year, the year before, and the year before that.
Already I have had one memory reminder from July 30th 2012 that now feels so ironic. I had taken Zoe to the doctor for an immunisation catch up and was complaining about the cost. She seemed perfectly healthy, nobody noticed anything amiss. A couple of weeks earlier, I had taken her to the doctor about a sore leg, which at the time seemed to result from a strenuous game of tug of war. Now I know that on that day I was complaining about the cost of the immunisation, the cancer was already back and in her bone marrow. It was that, not a tug of war injury causing her pain. Just two weeks later, an aspiration would find that her bone marrow was “full of rhabdo” and that it had invaded her lungs to the point where she needed to be on oxygen for the remaining weeks of her life.
In some ways I am dreading the facebook memories, in other ways looking forward to them. I documented those days on facebook for friends and family and they were very precious days. Days where our only focus was on making each one the best it could be for Zoe, where she and we were surrounded by the people who loved us and her beautiful personality and spirit continued to shine through til the very last.
The memories are a reminder that we can easily get caught up in things that aren’t really important to us, in pleasing other people while putting our dreams on the back burner, in spending our time and energy on people who don’t really value us. When I see them it’s a chance to refocus on the important things.
What are the dreams that are important to you? Who are you going to connect with today? It doesn’t have to take something as dramatic as what happened to us to refocus you on the people, values and aspirations that give your life its meaning. You can choose them now and make the memories you want for the future.