Living in cancer world made a permanent change in me. I’m not just talking about a personality shift.   I’m talking a change that is buried deep in the core of my soul.  I lost something the day Leroy was diagnosed.  The night he died, that hollow space stretched to a breaking point.  Since then, I’ve gone through all the stages of patching-up the wounds and I think I’m in an OK place now, but I’m still different.

I’ve met so many care-givers who are like me.  They know we have no choice but to go on and make a life without our loved ones.  Some do it better than others.  I applaud those who really start over.  They find a new relationship.  They build a new life with a new partner.  They take the old pieces and tuck them away, I mean really bury them.  Life, love, living is what they do with no signs of ‘sad.’ 

How do they do that?

I was with a couple yesterday…they’ve lost both their children to cancer.  We were working together on a Hopkins project, so I really got to talk to them about living with that kind of loss.  They have the means to set-up wonderful foundations honoring their two kids.  The dad said something that caught my attention; “We have chosen to stop mourning their deaths and instead do something that will help others who have cancer, live longer, healthier lives.” 

I have no doubt that this is their mission in life now.  And they will save lives.  It’s a fantastic gift.

We spent a lot of time together.  I caught flashes of who they used to be before cancer.  They shared old stories, laughed together; real glimpses of who they were a long time ago.  And then, they’d come back to the present and the “twinkle” would disappear. 

I get that.  I know how that happens. WE all change.

 

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