The more things change, the more they stay the same. An interesting sentence and one I have contemplated many times as my life took it’s twists and turns. I take the phrase out and look at it, and then put it back and forget about it, and each time I find myself left with more questions than answers. I have come to accept that this is a part of my journey though. There are some things we are just not supposed to understand. Change, I believe, is one of those things.
I have had many changes in my life and I must say, large ones. I found myself constantly recreating myself and noticed that many times it was more someone else’s choice than it seemed to be mine, and yet… I was facing a change because of it. For instance, when my dad changed jobs, I was forced to move, leaving friends and loved ones behind. When my husband got transferred, I went as well, although it was not my first choice. Interesting. Our choices do not always affect just us; indeed…they can have a profound effect on those around us, and even people we don’t know.
I am facing the biggest change I have ever faced, as my husband battles with terminal cancer and his choices get more and more complicated. It is a huge change for him and also a huge change for me. Most things are not as we knew them and our priorities have definitely changed. The things that seemed so important just a few short months ago have now become secondary to the simple functions of daily living, such as eating and sleeping. If we don’t change willingly, health can be a very hard taskmaster. We are making changes, that under other circumstances we might not ever tackle. Even though it came as somewhat of a surprise to my husband, he has faced this change with grace, courage and even humour, becoming an inspiring example. This is a change that affects not just him, but our children, our families, our friends, and myself. Maybe it means we will not have the usual Sunday night phone calls or the family get- togethers in the same spirit.
Maybe he is the one person that lights up the eyes of a special grandchild, and those eyes will never shine the same way again. Maybe knowing him will stick in their minds as knowing my grandfather stuck in mine. His memory has lasted a lifetime for me. Then again, maybe his journey will be a “forever” reminder of how someone cherished and held so dear has embodied the best example ever in how to make changes (or even how not to) while never really losing who you are and remaining true to yourself.
If we really come here to find out who we are, what better outcome than to leave knowing that we have reached that goal, leaving others with a legacy of love because we were brave enough to show who we really are. I think that kind of change is one we will never forget and will also cause others to change in a big way. Once we change, even a little bit, the ripple effect grows larger.
Angela Hanuse is a local artist. She is an active member of the Federation of Canadian artists, gaining countrywide recognition.