I was asked to write about having a bias towards pronoia. At first I had no idea what it meant and after reading the explanations given to me for this writing exercise and googling it on the net I began to understand the theory of it all. My life was certainly different before losing my ‘forever 20’ year old son Jacob and what I wouldn’t do to bring him back and change my new ‘normal.’ Life before this moment I was probably more familiar with the opposite of pronoia – paranoia, sweating the small stuff and thinking the world was out to get me. Even when Jacob was first diagnosed, at the beginning treatment, reaching remission, his many relapses and having been told that your life is coming to an end the thoughts in my head were more negative – how could this be happening to my young adult child, my beautiful brown eyed boy, my youngest child? What did I do to deserve this? Why did it have to happen to my family? Why wasn’t Jacob part of the positive percentage of statistics who survived Ewing’s Sarcoma after treatment? Yes I did have a lot to angry about. Having all the negative thoughts in your head all the time brings you down.
Something had to change. I could be bitter, angry and withdrawn pushing away the world, curling up in bed in a fetal position or with Jacob’s help from above I could be learning to ‘SMILE’ again – see miracles in life everyday. I chose the last one as Jacob wouldn’t want me to be sad all the time. We had a motto during the last month of his life after being told ‘there’s nothing more they could do to cure him of the disease’ – it was ‘live everyday of your life as if it’s your last and be thankful for everyday you’ve been blessed with.’ And it’s as if he telling me in a loud voice ‘do it mum, do it for me, live your life well’ as I get up out of bed everyday knowing he’s not physically here with us anymore.
I will continue to smile and see and feel him in the miracles I see everyday like the sunrise, sunset, rainbows, the beat I play on my African drum, the songs that randomly come on over the radio with messages from him in the lyrics, when I see a feather, a penny from Heaven at my feet, a butterfly and dragonfly, when I’m on the lake in my kayak, the first star I wish upon in the evening sky, the full moon that plays with my emotions so. The colours I see are so much brighter now, perhaps in my life before my grief I was too busy to really notice, but now I really stop to smell the roses, the see how beautiful life is and how quick it can all change. It’s all just like the song that Jacob introduced me to on the way home from having chemo. He said ‘mum you’ll like this song’ from the back seat of the car as he played it from his phone. I did love it and shared this with him as I cried behind dark sunglasses without him knowing. This was the song he took his last breath to, as he was surrounded by 19 family and friends – ‘it’s nice to be alive’ by Ball Park Music. Yes it is ‘nice to be alive’ and I’m thankful for all the signs that Jacob is still with us as we tread further down the road since we’ve kissed his forehead, held his hand and heard his voice. I’m using his camera now as his career choice was becoming a cinematographer so I’m seeing the world through his eyes the lens of his camera keeping us connected.
I will love and miss him for the rest of my life until we meet again but in the days that await I will not take things for granted like I did before his passing. I will have those days when the grief will come from nowhere with random triggers that cause burning tears, but I can’t stay with these days, grief will always be part of me but I can’t let the darkness dull the light that’s trying it’s best to shine. I will try and wake up each day with a grateful heart and be thankful for the things going well in my life. I am alive, I have a loving husband by my side, 3 beautiful earth bound children, a roof over my head, fresh water and food to eat, clothes to wear, a job with a regular income, family and a great circle of friends (in real life and the ones I’ve never met yet have connected with online).
With my writing task tonight I hope I have grasped the understanding of the word pronoia and how it looks in my life right now. Pronoia – noun, the belief that everything in the universe is conspiring to support you – my belief in pronoia armed me with a positive and optimistic outlook even during my most trying times….losing my son to Ewing’s sarcoma aged 20.