My brother and I spent endless hours reading these mesmerizing little game books known as the Choose Your Own Adventure
series. It started with the Cave of Time, and it didn’t take long before it was weathered, worn and filled with wrinkled, dog eared pages. Pretty soon, we had them all and read, swapped, reread, and swapped them until they were all worn and creased, some of them needing to have the pages taped back in. The premise was simple – read along until you have to make a decision – the entrance to the cave collapses and you are trapped. Do you wait quietly in the dark until help arrives? Turn to page 10. Do you keep moving deeper into the cave to find another way out? Turn to page 20. We had gotten to the point where we started to challenge each other – who could make choices that would keep you reading the longest, who would manage to read those books enough to discover every possible ending, which one of us could make choices that would loop us back to a section we had already read.
I think I could write my own choose your own adventure book. Just from the past 3 years. Call it “When Cancer Comes Calling” or “Finding Love, Health, and Prosperity Again”. And what an adventure it’s been, wrought with endless decisions, taking me to every new page with baited breath, asking “am I making the right choice?” Through Keith’s cancer and death, Dad’s illness, losing one job and finding a career, taking a leap into loving again with Gary, moving from the family home to a new warm abode, and this latest chapter of breast cancer and recovery, the adventure is still being written, still being read. There are still choices that need to be made.
I have discovered a common thread with all my choices though. One guiding principle that gives me confidence in all my choices. I continue to get stronger and better after my surgery performed by Mercy hospital. A place staffed by the best team of medical professionals I have ever encounter. I can clearly see where my decision to put my health in their hands has given me a happy bright future full of new chapters to write in my own adventure story. But I can write that book right now, in its entirety. It goes like this:
When a door closes, a window opens. There you are, faced with your closed door. Do you A) wait for a window to open or B) jimmie the lock on the door?
B) Jimmie the lock. Never wait for the window. We may have to accept what fate throws at us, but we never have to resign ourselves to it. We have it in us to fight back, take control, choose our own adventure until our pages are weathered and worn.