Bucket List

After I was diagnosed with MS, everyone kept asking me what was on the bucket list for me, what I needed to do sooner rather than later. . .

And I had no answers. I’ve never really kept one. I had a few things – I wanted to dance at Nephew the eldest’s wedding, hold his child. I wanted to be well enough to care for the next set of babies.

For all my planning, I’m not a bucket list sort of person. I’m an experience, live with those who love me, care for those around me sort of person. I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive, experiences and travel, big plans and small events with those you care for. It’s just that I don’t think about the big things much. They happen or they don’t. There’s so little you can actually do – you can plan and save and hope, but it can all fall apart. Hold on to the now. That’s mostly safe.

I’m not in Edmonton this morning, and I’m thankful. Winnipeg is not my city. I don’t much like it here. I have no real idea why, but for today at least – I’m glad to be here all the same.

You see, I had a bucket list in 2007. I had a list and it involved a little boy. And this morning, on this first day of school, I was going to take his photo on the front porch of the house I still live in. I was going to walk him across the street, our street, into the school he had looked at out of his bedroom window. I was going to drop him off in a first grade class room, with his backpack and his lunch.

There are secret anniversaries in grief. Days, moments, that pass that are so intimate that you never share them with another person.  I remember not just the day I first felt him move in me, but the day I first wore maternity clothes.

Then the anniversaries of my hopes and dreams – the days I thought would come to pass. The Christmases of my dreams that will never be the Christmases of my memory. Days that do not mark a thing that happened, but a thing that you thought might happen. The days that mark what was on your bucket list back then.

Still, you grieve those days – the bucket list that never was. You will grieve them every day of your life. And in the hurt, you hold out your hands when someone asks you what your bucket list is after MS – as the ground shifts under you again.

And you think – now. My bucket list is holding on to what I have now. Because what I thought I once had still hurts.

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4 Responses to Bucket List

  1. Sigrun says:

    ♥♥♥
    The hearts were all the comments I wanted to leave, because words don’t always suffice, but the program told me to “leave a useful comment”. Obviously the program didn’t read the post, so couldn’t know that ♥♥♥ can be sufficient.

  2. Peg says:

    another one of your posts which blow me away. touching and beautiful writing. So sorry for these days of grief.

  3. loribeth says:

    I don’t have a “bucket list” either. I have a mental list in my head of places I’d like to go, but it’s not like I’m seriously striving to cross every one of them off. I recognize there is only so much time, energy & money and so many, many things I’d like to do. I’m not sure if doing it all is realistic.

    That last paragraph sums it all up.

  4. Mali says:

    I’ve been thinking about you since I read this when it first went up. I don’t think I have a bucket list. Oh sure, there are things I would like to do and places I want to go. But ultimately, it’s about living my life the way I want to, while I can, not ticking off things on a list. You may be hurt and grieving and feeling like the ground isn’t solid, but it seems to me that you’ve got it exactly right. To hold on to now. Because that’s all any of us ever have.

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