As bad as cancer is, and it is bad, there are ‘pieces’ of it that bring people together.  I mean really bring people together, years after the worst of cancer has happened.

In my experience, I watched Leroy’s circle of friends grow and surround him with love and kindness and caring.  I watched his pals lift him up with so much love it would leave me in tears. And he cared for them so much that at the end of his life, he couldn’t say good-bye.  It was just too painful for him to face a farewell to the group.  We talked about it many times, but he wanted to remember them in the ‘present,’ with “Hello’s” and not “Good-bye’s.”

So fast forward almost 9 years now, and having just gone through his birthday and our anniversary, you can imagine my memory bank is overflowing at the moment.  It’s been an emotional few days and it is exhausting to go through it. But the best part is, I haven’t gone through it alone.  Those great friends have lifted me up too.  All these years later, so many kind words, emails, pictures, events, all played out over the last few days in celebration of Leroy’s life.  He had a VERY good birthday and we had a VERY nice anniversary!

These are the ‘pieces of cancer’ I’m talking about; the friends who stick with you, year after year.  The friends who ‘get-it’ and realize you never stop remembering and you will always miss your person.

On one hand, being the care-giver and the one tasked to find a way to reinvent your life after cancer ends your dreams, is something you have to figure out on your own…period.  But, one the other hand, you have those ‘pieces’ to lean on, to rely on when you’re feeling a little weak in the knees.

I doubt cancer even knows it creates this support team because it’s so busy trying to destroy a perfectly good life.  But I’m here to tell you, something very positive comes from something so awful.  I couldn’t imagine life without those ‘pieces.’

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