I bought something the other day, from John Lewis’ web site of course and Al drove me to pick it up. So of course I got the “what on earth have you bought this time?!” question. (Oh, if I had £1 for every time I’ve been asked that….)
So instead of saying what it was and then spending an hour justifying myself, I said, “actually you’ll be pleased with me because it ‘s a very optimistic purchase”. And I made him guess what it was….a pair of (on trend, of course) summer sandals. This no doubt seems mad to most people. I only have one leg so the poor left sandal will never be worn. And I have terminal cancer. And I live in Edinburgh where summer sandals only get to appear for about 2 hours per “summer”.
But I bought them because I wanted to, and I liked them – they’ll look fab with fake tan and some imaginary dresses I don’t even own (yet!). But most importantly, they are a symbol of my crazy hope.
It’s 3 months since my diagnosis, which initially was only weeks to live. So if I get another few weeks or months, that’s fantastic. More time with my beloved Alberto, my treasured parents, my wonderful friends, and best of all (sorry guys but he tops you all) Xavier (my cat). All I need is just a little more time.
I’m living in a weird kind of limbo, not exactly waiting for death, but aware it could happen at any moment. But every day I wake up, and feel OK, is a gift. And weirdly I manage to forget the whole thing and enjoy just being me and doing what I want to do. It’s not always great, there are times when I look at someone I love and imagine me gone, and I start to cry because I can’t take the inescapable future grief away from them. But mostly I hold things together and have beautiful happy days, precisely because despite everything I do have hope.
And hope has to be one of the things that make us all singularly human. So yeah summer sandals in Edinburgh may be crazy. But I need their hope. And what a fab excuse for buying more stuff…