Friday, July 11, 2008

Endings and Beginnings

Today is Ryan's last day at Varolii. Our family has very mixed feelings about it, of course, but I am trying to reflect on the fact that this is a new beginning just as much as it is an ending.

When I was first diagnosed, I watched "The Survivor Movie" online, and it deeply touched me. It's a PowerPoint presentation set to music, and it's aimed at cancer patients. One screen in particular really touched me (and always makes me cry): it's a picture of someone being rushed to the ER on a stretcher, and the caption reads something like, "Setbacks are a chance to re-learn the lesson." I think the reason it touched me so much was twofold: one, of course, is that setbacks are scary; more importantly, though, is that (two) setbacks are just a part of the journey. This idea - that it is somehow natural and normal to have setbacks - is comforting to me. It reminds me that a setback is not the end, it's a detour, and that perhaps something is to be gained by it.

Setbacks are still scary. But when I can remember it, they are also filled with possibility. A chance to get things right, to find a new path, to embark on a new journey.

Yesterday, our "setback" was a gift in disguise: when our plans for the day fell through and friends were busy, Tessa and I went to the zoo just the two of us. We did things at our own pace. We saw only the things that appealed to us. We talked, held hands, and laughed together. I was 100% attentive to Tessa, not distracted by one of my own friends, and Tessa in return was a delight to be with. We shared jokes, we shared a cheeseburger, we shared sunblock. Simple, and lovely.

Today will be different for us, but hopefully also a great day. It's the West Seattle Street Fair, and Susan & the boys are coming to play with us. Tessa is dreaming of bouncy houses and face painting, and I'm looking forward to seeing the kids play together and share the excitement. It's always a treat to see Susan, and I'm looking forward to that, too.

Today is a day of quiet contemplation for Ryan, I think. I'm wishing him peace, and hope in the new beginning, even as this chapter ends.

1 comment:

Robin Rees said...


We (me, you and Ryan) never had the chance to meet, as I joined Varolii in January as the director of PR. I came across your posting due to a blog alert, and I just wanted to wish both you and Ryan the best.

My family has struggled with some life and death issues of our own over the last year, and while I never got around to posting my thoughts on a blog, I have kept them in a journal.

Your blog is one I intend to come back again and again, as I really enjoy and find inspiration from your thoughts and the way you express them so beautifully.

If I can be of any assistance to you or Ryan, please don't hesitate to let me know. I'm pretty well networked in the Seattle area and would be happy to provide an introduction to any hiring companies if Ryan needs it.

Contact me at