The room was filled to capacity. Boxes of Kleenex were passed down the rows in anticipation of an evening of memories and tears.
The cellist was playing a beautiful piece enhanced by the warm, wood tenor the instrument is so well suited to play. He’s been playing the cello since childhood, that was clear. His day job, these days is that of medical oncologist with a specialty in brain cancer: But last night, his role was that of Svengali, although not with evil intent, in fact just the opposite. This music soothed the souls of the loved ones sitting and remembering. It gave them time to rewind to a better place, when cancer wasn’t a force in their world.
This “Night of Remembrance” pays tribute not only to those we’ve lost to cancer, but to those who were the care givers and the support team during treatment and battles against this killer.
The speakers had all been touched by cancer too. There were doctors, nurses, a grieving parent, a cancer survivor and a former care giver. There was music and a prayer for strength, in a time when strength is a necessary ingredient to get you to tomorrow. Everyone in the room was fragile.
But there they were, back in this place where their memories were not good, to pay tribute. That took a special kind of toughness: after all, this was the place that screamed cancer. A few steps from here and you were in an exam room, go a different direction and you were headed up the stairs and into the chemo room, step into the elevator and the floors above were filled with the round the clock world of the cancer center.
That’s how it had been for those with the broken hearts last night.
Every one sitting together with a common bond. Every one remembering their lost loved one. And the cellist played on.