Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fortunate Fortunes

Years ago, eating at Panda Express after a scan or a tough clinic visit became a routine for Miss Lily and the rest of the mini mutant monkeys. When Panda opened down the road- there was much celebration of fortune. We dreamed dreams of fluffy orange chicken clouds and floated along rivers of noodles. We have become fortune cookie officianados. There are rules over who gets what cookie and no one ever wants the broken one. I've started taking mercy on the broken ones- they didn't mean to get broken and it doesn't change their fortune. The fortune is actually easier to get to and I'm old enough to know I've cracked open quite a few cookies.  Sometimes the fortunes are simple statement of fact- your opportunities are many or you will soon go on a long journey.

You are guided by silent love and friendship around you.
Fortunes like life are what you make them into. Take any statement and you can turn it into a mantra, a curse or a dream based on what power you give to it. As long as you realize the true fortune is in the moment and inside you. The rest is just dessert.

This was one I got after my first chemo.  Ah the ironic fortune is one of my favorite kinds. Yet fortune, like friendship has a way of being there when you need it. Telling you the truths you may not believe. Or giving you a bit of hope to reach for. Or for the times you just need a laugh.

This was Phil's fortune on his very first field trip as chaperone for Lily's class adventure to Chinatown for Chinese New Year. The contemplative fortune. Phil texts this to me and I spent a half an hour wondering what problem he chose to signify and if he could find understanding. Can we ever truly understand the great problems that mar our path? Later I brought up the fortune wondering if he was ready to talk about cancer and life and the uncertain future. I asked if he found understanding. He said no- the problem was the waitress didn't listen as they were boxing up leftovers so he ended up with a lifetime supply of fried rice and not nearly enough broccoli beef. Sometimes you can't stop to contemplate. Sometimes you just have to keep on keeping on.

The next night I am trying to find balance. Phil was at a funeral for a former boss who passed suddenly. Phillip has wrestling, Bella has soccer and Kiera has science fair awards and all overlap. I leave Phillip to his own devices, pawn Lily and Bella off on my sister in law and take Kiera to her awards. On the way we stop for a quick bite. I ate little, unsure of how my iron constitution might powerfully and physically betray me. I grab a fortune cookie, hoping to find some lighthearted introspection and this is what I read....
I laugh and show Kiera. I wonder if I am going to have to perform the heimlich she laughs so hard. I think you got the wrong one she says. I think so too for a minute. Then I remember how fortunate I am. Length is not always measured in minutes, it can be measured in feet or miles. Perhaps length is relative. Perhaps it's not the size of the fortune but how you use it. Perhaps the fact is we just don't know. Whether this fortune is statement of fact, ironic, or contemplative - we will just have to wait and see.  Hopefully it will be a long wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Lily Kay Monkey

Lily Kay Monkey
November 2008 Photographed by Shelley Detton (7 Layer Studio)