Tomorrow morning, YaYa leaves for another year at Camp Kesem. As the suitcase is filled with his belongings, I think back to the 1st time the kids went away to this camp. Falling a short 3 months after Tom’s death, camp fell in the same month I was laid off from my best job ever, Father’s Day, and Tom’s birthday. It was the 1st time since the death that I had to find a reason to get out of bed beyond the fact that my kids needed me.
Back then, the mere fact that I had kids meant that I could not just sit in bed and wallow in sadness. It meant that I had to get up, go to work, and function. Each year, the boys (now only YaYa) leave for camp and I am alone again.
Last year, my trip to Vancouver was just the thing I needed to make the time alone “good.” Make that “great.” For the first time in years, I took the time for me. It just so happened that I had this amazing guy with me — kind of showing me how to do it.
But this year, I don’t have a trip scheduled, unless you count my trip down the highway to the office. Somehow, I must find a way to use this time to give to myself. Although I have since found more and more reason to love my life, caring for myself is something I’m still learning. Caring for others comes easy and brings me so much. In many ways, I feel it is at the heart of why am I here. I’m certain that is why I became a nurse. And although I am no longer at the bedside, I find myself helping others in my new career and in everyday life.
I’ve learned that there is value in taking the time to be good to oneself and this is one of the reasons behind Camp Kesem. To give the families who have been hit by Cancer, whether they are currently in the fight or finding equilibrium afterwards, a chance to take care of themselves. Maybe I’ll use this time to take an extra yoga class, ride my bike to work, or make myself a special dinner. Maybe, I’ll sleep in, or stay up late. Who knows what this gal might do… when left alone.