Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Someone Today

A wise woman once told me children grow up to be adults and that’s a sad thing. I was 21 at the time, just finally a complete adult in every way but renting a car so I thought it was a dumb dumb thought since I had finally arrived at the freedom of adulthood. But as summer has begun and Kiana and I are just playing… I am fully coming to grasp that there is a beauty and a wisdom to the approach of enjoying each and all stages of life...

Often my email signature is a quote that currently is hitting home and it currently quotes Tauscher (though I changed the he to she for obvious reasons), “We worry about what a child will become tomorrow and forget that she is someone today.” Childhood is ridiculously fun for most of us because of its simplicity. Even people like me who grow up poor and in a rough neighborhood find a joy in things like tag and hide and seek and for me and many other children, above all running. Sure eventually, childhood gets more complicated as we go through puberty and realize a variety of things and then there’s career options and this and that… and those are great and confusing stages of life… but I’m trying to teach Kiana what I’m trying to learn myself: I’m not nearly as good at long term planning as I used to be,  today in some ways always matters more.

I get nervous when I get invited to speak at various places because while I pepper in some of the inappropriate humor from me and my friends about this brain cancer story…  humor being one of my many coping mechanisms… but I don’t know that I have a great message. I make the joke about how the seizure came literally the day after the first time I came in first in the running group (running fast causes brain cancer), the joke about when they put parts of my brain to sleep at a time chemicals they ran from my groin to my brain (proving what we’ve always known man’s groins and brains are connected and only take a few seconds to communicate), the I’m going to give you a piece of my mind joke that I told the brain surgeons… There’s obviously serious worrisome parts and to this day the only marathon I ever qualified for Boston was the one where it was a few days before brain surgery because turns out if you think it’s your last marathon you run as fucking fast as you can…

The jokes still continue with the executors of my will saying that he bought a house on top of a hill that way it’s harder for me to get there because it’s tough to bike that steep and the other executor saying that it’s weird that people acknowledge they have even met me.  It’s good to have friends that blow you off even as the slow news week continues ( . But while I love and share Livestrong’s attitude that we’re fighting cancer, my biggest focus is the same as most children I’ve ever met, babysat and the one I’m trying to raise, you just hang out and live with the people you love. I mean even the world’s greatest religions I hope aren’t preaching extending life just for the sake of living… it’s for the sake of living right. I fight and deal with the medical issues and bills (relieved to say that all arguments about past ones got settled a few days ago!) because well, I am not trying to avoid dying just trying to keep living.
There are of course stark reminders of reality of what I assume and bet will come unfortunately . The guy who owned me at the Angels Among Us 5K is struggling with the brain cancer drugs he’s on to where right now he’s not really running and it’s been less than 2 months since he owned me and he’s been aware of his cancer less than six months (I trust and pray he'll kick it's ass)… the girl who had brain cancer and had the biggest team for the Livestrong marathon passed away within the last month and she was much younger than me… one of the guys from the cancer and transitions class about my age I attended whose cancer was gone died less than a month ago… One of the girls from the young and strong club’s group who is about a decade younger than me has brain surgery Friday and asked if we could have a meal together, she also has seizures and the couple of hours together we shared some point. With each of these, it's nice and scary to know there was someone out there who got a little bit more of you than most people. Each of these mess with me significantly though for some reason the guy who beat me at Duke made me cry for quite a while. None of our tomorrow’s  are promised but statistically speaking, like poker, there are those of us whose odds are dramatically different than each others but again none of us have our tomorrow promised.

So Kiana and I have started summer great by going swimming, and arts and crafts making and singing and to the playground.  We’re going to a free lawn concert tonight, took Kiana to first Thursday where some great arts and crafts were on sale, watched triathlons and gotten whooped on in many athletic events so I commend that the human spirit is very much about getting better at these as a whole and about getting to our personal best individually. (By the way, my brain may not be all it used to be but my daughter finished kindergarten accepted into the GT program and with a "4.0")Training in the heat is kicking my ass but the guy who has memory problems is quickly remembering why marathon training doesn’t usually happen during summer, why they invented air conditioning and I’ve never appreciated ice cream more. (With that said, since the monkey bars whooped me in the Spartan race I tried to do them today on the playground and Kiana got further than I did and tried to comfort my frustration by saying, it’s okay daddy, it’s harder for you because you’re a lot heavier).

Invitations to some things have dramatically slowed down but have still kept coming in and on the ones I have Kiana unless I can participate with her I say no (that's been tough on a couple of them) but otherwise it's a yes. Yeah the running slut thing continues... But I keep thinking that Kiana and I have a great relationship for many reasons but one of them is just simply time with people creates greater bonding if the connection exists. The honest truth I only ever intended to do one marathon and it was with Kiana's mother. It was a dumb romantic gesture that we did it on Valentine's day. We did exactly zero of the workouts together and saw each other where I waited for her for the last .2 miles of her race after I finished mine. No wonder we broke up. Big days like marathons and anniversaries and holidays are important but really irrelevantly stupid if you aren't getting the day to day things right so I am trying harder than I ever have on those. There are people who think it's weird I'm so focused when I'm not dying in a couple of months or what have you... I think it's weird that they are putting off great things for another day... The ending of a book or a life or movie or a song or a concert may greatly affect your view of it but I don't think there are many times where people go and say the last part was great but the rest was ho hum so I'm glad I got to be part of it. I'd rather go to a great concert/movie/tournament/life/book with a great journey and an okay/bad end than vice versa. I'm hoping I can figure out a way to get a good path and a good end. 

And the great Olympians and the Thomas Edison’s of the world and the creators of facebook and the internet are just feeding the beauty of humanity, creativity to know more out inner self, our outer world and to use both to enjoy life and connect better… and while I still don’t quite know what to say about being called inspiring I do know that the stuff I’m being commended for, exercising and loving my daughter… well it’s not brain surgery. I will always worry about my daughter’s tomorrow but there’s nothing I’m more proud of than that I haven't forgotten that she is someone today. 


  1. Amen. You're so much more than a running slut, Iram. :-)

  2. Another great post! Glad to hear you are making the most out of summer!