I ran into a friend last night while out with David. “How are you two?” she asked. “I hope things are settling down. When I saw your last blog post I thought ‘No, not more tough stuff.'”
She’s right. Enough tough stuff. One afternoon shortly after Eric was first diagnosed with metastatic ocular melanoma, and we realized how very sick he was and how little time he had left, we were lying on the bed together talking. “We’re the luckiest unlucky people in the world,” Eric said, and I agreed. The cancer was enormous bad luck, but we were so lucky in so many ways — our love and marriage, our children, our family and friends, our comfortable and privileged life.
After Eric’s original diagnosis, three years before, I’d thought a lot about the concept of luck, and how often we only perceive our good fortune in contrast to what could have been worse. Here’s the poem I wrote then. I’m still as lucky as ever.
to be alive after an accident,
after a grave illness, to be able
to recover and comprehend
all that could have gone wrong
the wrongness that happened
the reference for all that’s left intact.
Why do we need misfortune
to remind us how full the bucket
of luck is, each moment unfolding, one
glow after another, out in the silver
dawn, out in the indigo dusk, hauling
our luck around with us, holding on.