Anyone who knows me knows that I have a (somewhat) unhealthy obsession with the Statue of Liberty. EVERY TIME we take the Turnpike extension to the Holland Tunnel to enter the city I have to point her out to my kids. “Look kids! LADY LIBERTY!” or “Isn’t she BEAUTIFUL?” I don’t really know what it is – what causes this obsession of mine with this woman – I just know that I love her and I love how majestic she looks guarding the waters surrounding the lower tip of Manhattan.
I guess maybe it started when I took a trip to New York with my mom many years ago. This is the Empire State Building but you get the idea:
The way you could climb to the top and look over the city and plan your conquests. Map out your territory. Anything was possible when you were looking out over the top of the world. That’s how I felt.
Maybe it started when I moved to New York City nineteen years ago. I used to walk around the city – Times Square, World Trade Center, Statue of Liberty – and wonder in amazement that I lived in the center of it all. The capital of the world. Things happened in New York. Anything was achieveable in New York and the Statue of Liberty was the symbol of it all. Moving to New York represented FREEDOM for me. FREEDOM to seek out whatever it was I was seeking. FREEDOM to figure out the rest of my life. FREEDOM – quite frankly – from living with the pressures of two families and not being able to please everyone all of the time. I guess I figured if I moved far enough away I wouldn’t have to answer to either of them. Right or wrong (and probably wrong) I needed that FREEDOM.
Whenever we drive by that lady I get misty eyed. She represents my journey. New York gave me the best three things in my life: Helene, Victor and Ava. Lady Liberty represents all of that.
Now I face a different journey. A journey of FREEDOM from Cancer. Since December 1, 2012 I have been battling through Chemotherapy, through a stem cell transplant and through the rigors of Dexamethasone – the steroid that rules the emotions. My family is on the journey as well. Thursday is day +100. Thursday is the day that I give Dr. J my blood and my urine in the hopes that he will say that the beast is gone. And although even if it is gone – it will surely return someday. That’s what Myeloma is. But we keep fighting – we keep positive and we keep confident because of all the POSSIBILITIES. All the new drugs in the pipeline and all of the love and support of our family.
So when Victor and I drove by the Statue of Liberty this weekend on our way out to Long Island and back for a baseball tournament he probably cringed and rolled his eyes when I said “Look Victor! LADY LIBERTY!” and “Isn’t she BEAUTIFUL?”
“Yeah Dad…whatever.” was probably his response. But he sees the world a little differently from me. I just want him to know that in life – whether its school, baseball or for me – fighting Cancer – the possibilities are endless and anything is achieveable. FREEDOM.