Zig Instead of Zag

I had a conversation a while back with a friend going through crisis. I asked what could’ve been done differently, or if there was one thing that maybe was the start of trouble. The answer was “I guess there were a lot of times I should’ve zigged instead of zagged”.

I get that. I wholeheartedly get that.

Oftentimes I lead with my heart and not my head. It gets me in trouble way more times than I care to admit, but it comes from a good place.

Through Matt’s diagnosis and treatment, I was full of so much hope. I refused to believe he was going to die, despite the statistics and specifics about his case right there in front of me. One of my biggest regrets is that I made him think he could beat it, too. I was his constant cheerleader, always building him up for the next step. And he just kept trying and trying, because I wanted him to.

And that was when I zigged when I should’ve zagged.

I unknowingly put pressure on him because I believed that there was nothing he couldn’t do. I believed that with a good attitude and a smile, he could push through. And push through he did.

In the last few weeks of his life, when the decision to die on hospice was made, we had a lot of sacred conversations. A lot of what we talked about I will never share. It’s just for us. But I asked him if we did all we could’ve done. He looked at me with the bluest eyes ever and told me he wished he never would’ve even done chemo. He believed that his time on earth was the same whether he received treatment or not, and treatment broke him. It hurt my heart to hear him say those words because I knew the only reason he fought as hard as he did was for us.

That’s love, sacrificing your comfort to be there for someone else. But it’s a horrible way to die.

Since Matt died in August, I have tried to make decisions I wouldn’t regret.

I have failed miserably. I’m so full of emotions and love that I have nowhere to put and fear and doubt and energy and sadness that it clouds my judgement. I’m leading with my heart and not my head, because my heart is much stronger right now. I feel alone in a room full of people. For a year and a half my life was one big cancer fighting adrenaline rush. I find myself chasing that adrenaline rush and coming up short.

I’m sad. That’s hard to type, but I am.

When I’m completely overwhelmed I think about our easy life in Atlanta. We were so happy. We spent weekends in parks at festivals and loved every minute of it. I don’t know why we ever thought it was a good idea to leave our urban paradise.

We zigged when we should’ve zagged.

Right now I’m focused on surviving this season of life. Right now it’s cold, dark, rainy, and depressing. but spring is coming. And I’m ready for sunshine and peace.

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