“You’re so quiet. Are you OK?”

“I haven’t seen you much lately. Is everything all right?”

“What’s happened to you? I don’t even see you on Facebook or Instagram much anymore. Is something wrong?”

These are the questions I have been getting from well-meaning friends these days who are genuinely interested in my well-being.

A few even drag me out of my house, and while I appreciate eating my weight in samples from Costco and watching people who look like giant Vikings or “Game of Thrones” actors hurl what looks like a telephone pole at the annual Scottish games in Wellington, I am perfectly content to sit home and ponder life.

As my kids were growing up, when one got something that the other two wanted, I would tell them “Everything is fair and equal at separate and different times.”

“You’ll get to have a sleepover when you’re old enough.”

“It will be your birthday in a few months and then you can have a party.”

They seemed to buy my logic and it was true, everything is fair and equal at separate and different times.

Now at 60, I find it truer than ever. Though it’s nothing quite as fun as sleepovers and birthday parties.

Here is a good example. My car insurance premium went up recently because my eldest selfishly decided to exercise his autonomy and get his own insurance with a different company.

There went my multiple-car discount.

As I called around for quotes, one agent told me her company paid for repairs to cracked windshields as part of its coverage. After she read me the quote, I declined as it was only slightly more than my current premium. Besides, I have never had a cracked windshield in my life.

However, as I left the grocery store not even two hours after that phone call, who had a crack halfway across the windshield? ME!

I was incredulous! What are the odds of that? Was she angered that I didn’t buy a policy from her so she followed me to the store and whacked my windshield with a can of cream corn?

She had my VIN (vehicle identification number) so she could have clearly tracked me down.

Maybe she just did it from a satellite somewhere over Wadsworth.

When I finally returned to my senses, and with rare June sunlight captured gloriously in the giant crack, I drove home and remembered my old saying. It was true. I have been driving a car for 44 years and never, ever had my windshield cracked, even when a pigeon hit it at 40 mph, leaving only what resembled the outline of a Phoenix.

It was my time. I know people who get a cracked windshield every time they get a new car.

But sometimes what is fair and equal at separate and different times is much more serious than a cracked windshield.

Sometimes it’s cancer. As it was for me two years ago, when I became the statistical 1 out of 8 women who would get breast cancer.

My one-year checkup showed a clean slate. My two-year checkup, not so much.

I felt the newest lump just before my May appointment. My doctor did an ultrasound to measure it. She also ordered a 3D mammogram, which, to everyone’s surprise, showed something on the other side, too.

I remind myself that I have lived a very healthy life. I still have my tonsils and my appendix.

Before the surgery to remove the tumor, the only real scar I had came from chickenpox. It used to be just outside the corner of my eye but has slowly slipped to the middle of my cheek.

And so, I sit and ponder, as I wait for the appointment the middle of this month to see if there has been any growth, any change.

Growth and change are a very good thing, when it comes to my 22-month-old granddaughter.

I’d like to see her grow up and fully expect that I will. She is perfect in every way and I am so very grateful for that. I know what a blessing that is.

Life, though, has a funny way of throwing the unexpected at us.

Remembering that everything is fair and equal at separate and different times causes us to remember the good in our life and just how good it truly is. But the pendulum is bound to swing the other way. When it does, remember that philosophy that worked so well on my kids, even if it does make one a little quieter.

 

Robin Swoboda can be reached at robinswoboda@outlook.com.