Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I would change nothing

   Today I read a scientific paper linking vasectomy surgery to advanced aggressive prostate cancer. The article took me back to 1988. At the time I was married with three children. My wife was adamant that she did not want to have anymore babies. I believed at the time that I was never going to get a divorce. My thought process was simple, it was much easier for me to have a procedure than it was for her. Although in my heart I would have preferred to have more children, I reluctantly went through with it and at the age of 26 I became a gelding. Five years later we divorced. She remarried a couple years later and had another baby. My procedure was irreversible. I confronted her one day, saying, I thought you didn't want to have anymore children. She said, I didn't want to have anymore children with you. 
    Flash forward 16 years and I develop aggressive, advanced prostate cancer.
   I have had most of the morning to ponder this quagmire and have come to the conclusion that if my life could be done over that I would change nothing. Don't get me wrong. We all have a number of things we have said or done that given the opportunity we would do differently but those are the little things. As my junior high school physical education teacher use to say. " Don't sweat the small stuff seals "
I am referring to the big picture. The life changing events. 
    Through the course of my journey, and with he help of some good friends, I have come to see that every step of a persons life has brought them to the place they stand today. I realize that this sounds like a no brainer, obvious statement, but think about it. If any of us had done one thing differently we would not be standing in this place at this time.
    I am extremely happy in my life. I am living out my hopes and dreams with the only person in this world whom I would want to share them with. If I had made a left turn or a right turn along the way I would be doing something else with someone else. Some may call it divine intervention and to be honest I don't quite know where I stand on the subject. I would like to think God has a hand in guiding us to our calling in life but perhaps he just lets us muck it up and sometimes we manage to find our way through the mire. Either way it doesn't matter. I am here because the road took me here. When I wanted to die someone showed me how much I really wanted to live. I needed to know that because without the desire to live I might not be able to survive what was coming. When I thought I might die, I learned how to live. Learning how to live opened the door to all the possibilities that life has to offer. If I hadn't of lost my home, I wouldn't be living where I live today. If I hadn't of gone through hard times then I might not have a heart of compassion. The list is endless and I could give example after example but they all lead to the same truth. I am here in this place with the woman I love because of the aggregate life events. Cancer played an enormous role in making me the person I am today. Were it not for cancer I may have never become the man my wife adores. 
   We spent the last two weekends at our favorite lake. We were with friends and family both weekends. I have never been so happy in my entire life. The Caribbean is still fresh in our memory and yet we are already planning a trip to the Aloha State. We have yet to choose an island but we will be going in late March or early April. I would like to go to Molakai or the big island. Time will tell. Prior to cancer I really never cared to travel. Cancer has given us so many good friends throughout North America and beyond. 
   I love where I am in my life. I went through a lot to get here. The road was not always easy and I lost many pieces of myself along the way. When I am in my shop I know that it takes a lot of sanding to bring out the true beauty of the wood grain. Maybe that is what the hard times are all about. Perhaps it is God's way of taking off the rough edges until the world is able to see the beauty of the human being we are called to be. Y.O.L.O. Todd