In the next few weeks we, as a family, will mark the 4th birthday of a very energetic, silly, engaging grand. That sweet child, as all children do, wrapped her giggly hands around our hearts and our love and we will never be the same! Thank goodness!
There is such hope in her laugh and promise in her curiosity. The adults in her life work to nurture her spirit and honor the gift of her in each of our lives.
This same time, marks that of my first diagnosis – triple negative breast cancer. I found out on Friday, October 10, 2014 that the biopsy showed cancer. And our lives will never be the same!
Grand was born two days later – Sunday. To say that it was an emotion filled weekend is such an understatement but I really have no other words.
I do find interesting parallels…
Grand, almost four years later is this beautiful, wonderful culmination of growth and development. Her cellular expanse has resulted in language, walking, singing, drawing and adventure and exploration – in hugs and giggles. In an imagination that includes unicorns and monsters, in all kinds of games of “let’s pretend.” The multiplication of cells within her has brought belly laughs and independence in the way that only an almost four year old can express it. Whew!
The promise is in continued growth and expansion – of her mind, body and spirit continuing to become.
My cancer saw rapid growth as well. Cells that don’t know how to stop reproducing – that grow unchecked without form, purpose or thought. Their growth produces nothing of worth – of value. In their inability to die – they alter the landscape in which they began. Without intervention and sometimes even with it, these unchecked cells lead to their own death and ultimately that of their host – in this case mine. So instead of leading to promise and hope – they lead to darkness and death.
Is the lesson, in part, that when we get outside of our own God given purpose, when we expand unchecked, when it is for our own purposes – we produce a distorted view of hope. That like cancer cells, when we aren’t grounded in Love – the Love that changed and can change the world – we produce systems, institutions and connections that tear down instead of building up.
It is, for me, an interesting place to stand – between this tension. Between the joy of new life and the realization that life ends – everyday, all the time, for each and every one of us. We don’t do such a hot job in the west of thinking and discussing that ultimate reality. And in my mind, that is a shame. There is something grounding and holy about reflecting on our temporary time here. It does make the sun shine a bit brighter, the hugs last a tad longer and the “I love you’s” that much more heartfelt!
So this October, I’m reminded of the gift of this day and I’m thankful for all the promise that it holds. May I not squander today on anything – thought or action – that does not bring Love to those I encounter.